CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM BSN TOURISM AWARDS - 14 JANUARY 2014- Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association held the 24th Annual Na Poe Paahana (The Hardworking People) Awards on Tuesday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Lodging properties around the state nominated their top employees for these awards, citing exceptional examples of professionalism, aloha spirit, customer service and community involvement. The winner of the Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year was Cafeteria Chef and Second Cook at the Sheraton Waikiki Resort, Kervin Leval. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Cindy Ellen Russell
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM The Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association held the 24th Annual Na Poe Paahana (The Hardworking People) Awards on Tuesday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Pictured are bottom row, left to right: Herb Kobayashi, Waikiki Resort Hotel, Front Office Person of the Year; Kirk Togashi, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, Security Officer of the Year; Kervin Leval, (Cafeteria Chef and Second Cook) Sheraton Waikiki Resort, Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year; Janice Primak, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Food & Beverage Person of the Year and Infante Llamas, The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, Housekeeper of the Year.
Top row, left to right: Julie Arigo, Waikiki Parc Hotel and HLTA Chairman; George Szigeti, HLTA President & CEO; Harzali Hashim, Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Manager of the Year; Douglas Goto, Pacific Guardian Life Insurance Company, Ltd., Allied Member of the Year; Reginald "Reggie" Ughoc, Sheraton Waikiki, Engineer/Maintenance Person of the Year and Dean Yamaguchi, Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk, Bell/Valet Person of the Year.
A Sheraton Waikiki cafeteria cook took top honors on Tuesday during a luncheon to celebrate the annual Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association’s (HLTA) Na Po’e Pa’ahana (the hardworking people) statewide awards.
Kervin Leval, who has worked at the Sheraton Waikiki since 1986 and now serves as the chef at the employee cafeteria Mokihana, was named outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year. Leval, who started his career as a 15-year-old bus boy at the Sheraton Maui, said he was shocked and honored to receive his industry’s highest award.
“It’s a small industry and I work with so many great people,” Leval said. “I was sure that another employee who was there on stage with me would be the winner.”
The Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year was one of nine award categories presented at the annual ceremony, which is in its 24th year.