It was the first time Mike and I had been invited, and when we arrived to the Tapa Ballroom, we guessed that there were 500 people there.
Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who is now the president of the association, graciously welcomed the crowd.
All the big and small hotels in the state were represented by their general managers and assistants, and it was a grand affair.
The annual event recognizes all the hardworking employees in the hotel industry. The categories are Bell/Valet Person, Engineer/Maintenance Person, Food & Beverage Person, Front Office Person, Manager, House Keeper, Security Officer and Outstanding Lodging Employee.
We were personally invited by our son, Jeff Montoya, who is employed at The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. He was a semifinalist in the “Bell/Valet Person of the Year.”
It was so surreal! There he was on the stage with the two other candidates, and after each introduction, we held our breath and thought, “Oh come on, Jeff.” And HE WON!! It was so exciting, and we are very proud of him.
He has been with the Sheraton for eight years and has received many guest accolades for his personal attention to their needs. It is all about the guest, and Jeff understands and promotes that daily in his workplace.
Needless to say, Mike cried. A.J. and I ran to the stage to give his daddy leis, and Estrell took the picture.
It was a fabulous time for our family, and A.J. (Anthony James) is very lucky to have such a great dad as a role model. We love you, Jeff. Aloha, Mom and Dad.
Jeff Montoya (with lei) is congratulated by family and Sheraton coworkers.