KAANAPALI - Kaanapali Beach Hotel officially recognized employees for their outstanding contributions and performance during its annual Kilohana Awards Luncheon.
The Mea Ho'okipa of the Year (employee of the year) award was given to four employees in three areas: Diego Bagusto in the Alu Like category, McLord Rabino in the Ho'okipa category, and Kimberly Une and Nani Mendoza (both honored) in the Kukui category.
A cook at the hotel, Bagusto leads by quiet example. With more than 30 years of service, he has become the invisible backbone of the culinary department.
Executive Chef Tom Muromoto describes Bagusto as "a dynamite worker and very well-respected among his peers and supervisors. He is a model employee and has made a significant contribution to the hotel."
A Food & Beverage Department employee, Rabino is a 15-year veteran of the hotel. "McLord is great at making guests feel right at home," said Tom Fairbanks, food and beverage director. "He is attentive and has the uncanny ability to anticipate the needs of his guests."
Assistant Manager Une was recognized for her outstanding commitment to excellence, her inspirational leadership and devotion to her staff.
Evelyn Chang, director of rooms, described her as "bright, compassionate and a go-getter. She is an outstanding leader that gives from her heart for her team as well as the community."
A team player, Mendoza is dedicated to her role as director of guest services.
"Nani is proactive in delivering guests' expectations, maintains an excellent rapport with all of our vendors and is extremely supportive of other departments," said Lori Sablas, director of po'okela.
"Nani is 110 percent committed to the needs of the hotel. She is dependable, an excellent communicator and always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done."