National Travel and Tourism Week in Surfside
The tourism industry supports more than 15 million American jobs and contributes nearly 26 billion annually to just South Florida’s economy alone, making it Florida’s largest source of income. This, along with many other reasons, is why Surfside will be celebrating the 36thannual National Travel and Tourism Week and honoring fellow tourism associates that help make Surfside a sought-after travel destination.
National Travel and Tourism WeekThe National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated from May 5th– 11th, is a time for the community to recognize and commemorate hospitality leaders. This years’ theme is “Travel Matters”, recognizing the numerous ways in which traveling enriches our everyday lives.
Surfside’s AcknowledgmentAs mentioned above, the Tourism industry in Surfside contributes tremendously to South Florida’s economy.With that being said, we have highlighted some of Surfside’s outstanding hotels along with some of their best and brightest working professionals. Tourism DirectorLindsay Fast notes “It’s an honor to shine the spotlight on the people behind our Town’s travel industry and success.” Get an inside look on each individual and how they came to recognize that #TravelMatters below.
Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club
As the founding base of the Food and Beverage division, the stewarding team is responsible for cleaning and sanitizing all of the kitchen tools and utensils. Although Portal holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering, due to his limited English, he joined the Four Seasons team as a Laundry Attendant. His can-do attitude and relentless personality have contributed to his success at The Surf Club. In February of 2018, one year after joining the team, he was promoted to Housekeeping Floor Supervisor. By then, not only was he speaking fluent English but had also won the respect and love of his team. In 2018, Portal was promoted to Stewarding Manager, where his charismatic leadership quickly won over the respect of an outsourced team of stewards and two demanding chefs. Not only are Portals’ contributions to The Surf Club admirable, but his willingness to help the local community is inspiring. From replanting dunes after the hurricane to preserving local turtle nests, Portal believes that taking care of Mother Nature is taking care of the future.
Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club’s Residential Concierge Anna Siroklin is responsible for meeting and exceeding the expectations of residential owners, who she enjoys building one-on-one relationships with. Four Seasons management describes her as one of the most collaborative hotel employees, always ready to offer her warm and cooperative support to ensure a flawless experience is achieved. The Four Seasons team is proud of Siroklin and appreciates her commitment to excellence in servicing and always keeping its residential owners happy.
As the heart and soul of the Rooms Division, the Room Attendant is responsible for the cleanliness and overall upkeep of guestrooms. While face-to-face contact isn’t always consistent, the impact of this role on the guest experience is often made through the subtle details anticipated through guests’ habits -- a skill that Guestroom Attendant Nacilia Dulcio has mastered. Colleagues describe her as one of the warmest and hardworking Room Attendants on the team. A silent soldier, Dulcio works tirelessly each day to ensure completion of her room assignments. This season, the Housekeeping team experienced an increase in credits in newly implemented sustainability efforts in order to reduce water consumption and laundry waste on property. The Four Seasons team considered her quick adaptability to these changes admirable, and is happy to have her on the team.
Bluegreen Vacations Solara Surfside
Guest Services Associate
The front desk is the heart of hotel operations; something the 12-year Bluegreen Vacations Solara Surfside veteran, Junior Encarnacion, knows all too well. Encarnacion, who is known for greeting guests with a smile and a positive attitude that brightens a room, is someone who genuinely puts his heart into his work. Besides checking guests in and out, he is responsible for providing excellent guest services throughout their stay. Colleagues describe Encarnacion as someone who is respectful, knowledgeable, reliable and punctual, among others.
Though Waldemar Calzado has only worked for Bluegreen Vacations Solara Surfside for less than a year, he has already made a positive impact at the hotel. In his role as Concierge, he is responsible for providing guests with information about local features such as shopping, dining and nightlife. Calzado goes the extra mile by personally calling guests prior to their arrival and taking notes of any special requests they might have. Colleagues describe him as a friendly person with a great sense of humor. He is known for his ability to easily strike conversations with guests, getting to know them well enough to provide personalized experiences. Calzado is a great addition to the Bluegreen Vacations family and brings positive energy to the team!
Maria Bula serves as Bluegreen Vacations’ multi-talented, modern day Renaissance woman. In her role as Administrative Assistant, she is responsible for submitting everything from payroll to assisting the front desk, to onboarding all new staff members, among others. Not only has Bulamade a great impact on colleagues but resort owners and guests, as well. She goes out of her way to celebrate every holiday and make it a memorable one for all. Bula also uses her creativity to find amenities that will make guests’ stays memorable such as providing pots of gold for guests during St. Patrick’s Day, or assisting the activities supervisor in serving pies to guests for National Pie Day. She is always looking for ways to assist everyone and always does it with a smile and great enthusiasm. Most importantly, Bula embodies the passion and dedication that a true associate in the hospitality industry should have.
Residence Inn by Marriott Miami Beach Surfside
Breakfast Attendant and Banquet Server
Sabrina Jean has been working at Residence Inn by Marriott Miami Beach Surfside for two years. Her duties include setting up for events including arranging table placements, setting up buffets, serving meals to guests, as well as performing cleaning tasks and breakdown of service, among others. Jean’s colleagues describe her as a hard worker with a great, positive attitude.
John Agramonte has been working at Residence Inn for three years, where he serves as Maintenance Supervisor, responsible for fixingand maintaining mechanical equipment, buildings and machines. Agramonte is a key member of the hotel’s team tasked with conducting plumbing work, painting, flooring and electrical repairs, as well as air conditioning system maintenance, among others. Hotel management describes him as someone who is very knowledgeable of his craft, and is always willing to lend a helping hand.
Front Desk Agent
Johanna Ferreira serves as Residence Inn’s Front Desk Agent, and is the first point of contact with hotel guests. She is responsible for performing essential front desk administrative duties including answering phone calls, registering guests and managing reservations. Ferreira is someone known for providing an excellent service to guests with a warm and friendly smile.
Grand Beach Hotel Surfside
Bladimir Balmaceada has been working at Grand Beach Hotel Surfside for three and a half years. In his role as Restaurant Server, he is able to provide excellent customer service to restaurant patrons, where they are always welcomed with a big smile. Balmaceada receives frequent praise from guests for his service, energy, attentiveness and positive attitude. He brings the team together both on the dining floor as well as in the kitchen with his enthusiasm and commitment to excellence. Grand Beach is happy to have Balmaceada on the team, and is proud of his hard work and dedication for delivering an excellent service to each and every guest.
Born and raised in sunny South Florida, Federico Zerla has worked for the Grand Beach Hotel family since 2012. He began working in valet parking and now serves as the hotel’s Concierge, recommending the numerous dining and shopping options available in town. Zerla welcomed Grand Beach’s first guest on its Opening Day, and for the past five and a half years, has continued welcoming guests with a great smile and genuine desire to make their stay at the hotel as memorable as possible. He is someone who goes above and beyond to ensure hotel guests experience Miami and the surrounding areas to the fullest.
Rudy Lefevre has been a part of the Grand Beach Hotel family for seven years, where he can be found welcoming guests with a smile, while assisting them with their luggage upon arrival and departure. He enjoys helping guests with recommendations of on-property activities and amenities, as well as informing them of local attractions in Surfside and neighboring Bal Harbour Shops. Lefevre is a team player who takes pride in providing an example of service excellence for his colleagues to follow.
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