MCLEAN, Va. - Embassy Suites Hotels has announced the winners of its 2010 Brand Performance Awards, which were presented to select properties and their leaders during the brand's annual conference in New Orleans last week. The conference theme, "Going Up," was designed to encourage brand leaders to challenge themselves and their teams to rise to new heights, while embodying the brand culture and values of Embassy Suites Hotels.

"The pride of Embassy Suites is its gracious, engaging and caring team members. It was an honor and pleasure to recognize the top hotels and leaders of our brand," said Jim Holthouser, global head of Embassy Suites Hotels and full service brands, Hilton Worldwide. "These teams work hard every day to bring our 'Make a Difference' service culture to life."

The Hervey Feldman Award, named in honor of an Embassy Suites pioneer and the brand's first president, recognizes a hotel general manager who demonstrates outstanding leadership and superb management. This year's General Manager of the Year honor went to Russell Tanakaya of the Embassy Suites Brea - North Orange County.

"Leading by example is important to us here at Embassy Suites and we're committed to rewarding our top performers by investing in their professional growth and development," said Charles Gremillion, director of brand culture and internal communications. "It not only helps us develop strong leaders, but supports our 'Make a Difference' brand culture."

Other winners selected from the brand's 210 properties include:

  • Make a Difference Hotel of the Year: Embassy Suites by Hilton Caracas, Venezuela. This category represents the best in team member satisfaction, positive guest responses and community initiatives.
  • Director of Sales of the Year: Becky Vealey; Embassy Suites Murfreesboro - Hotel & Conference Center (Tenn.)
  • Revenue Manager of the Year: Erin Ewens Brown; Embassy Suites Los Angeles - International Airport/South
  • Best Sales Promotion: Embassy Suites of Southern California Co-Op, led by Embassy Suites Irvine - Orange County (for "Kids Eat Free" summer 2010 promotion)
  • Sales Team of the Year: Embassy Suites Charlotte - Concord/Golf Resort & Spa
  • Sustainability Hotel of the Year: Embassy Suites San Diego - La Jolla

New this year was the I Can Make a Difference Award. This award was created to allow hotels to showcase their philanthropic involvement and win $5,000 to further their work in their communities. The inaugural recipient was the Embassy Suites Charleston, West Va., for its "Operation Sweet Dreams," a program that provides deploying parents the opportunity to record a personalized message packaged in a cuddly Teddy Bear.

The brand also inducted six general managers into the 2011-2012 Circle of Leadership class. The elite, year-long training program, which began in 2008, is designed to provide individualized coaching and leadership development that directly supports the Embassy Suites Hotels service statement --"Gracious, engaging and caring. Making a difference in the lives of others, in ways both big and small." The program acknowledges leaders who demonstrate great potential within the brand and provides them with additional resources to enhance the performance of their hotels.

Newly-inducted Circle of Leadership members are:

  • David Del Russo; Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center
  • Faisal Kamal; Embassy Suites Houston - Energy Corridor
  • David Lang; Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas - Hotel, Spa & Convention Center
  • Amy Ormsby; Embassy Suites Flagstaff
  • Jody Smith; Embassy Suites Austin - Downtown/Town Lake
  • Jeff Zelkin; Embassy Suites Tucson - Paloma Village

"Much of the success of our brand depends on the hard work and genuine nature of each and every one of our team members," Holthouser continued. "Through initiatives like our Brand Performance Awards and Circle of Leadership training program, we are constantly looking for opportunities to recognize our top team members and provide the tools and motivation they need to achieve maximum success at their hotels and in their communities."

Other awards were issued in the areas of revenue management, customer relationship management, and satisfaction and loyalty.

For a full listing of all Brand Performance Award winners, please contact Maggie Giddens at Pictures from the awards ceremony also available upon request.

Maggie Giddens
+1 703 883 5346

Lisa Harrison
+1 212 805 8019

About Embassy Suites by Hilton
Embassy Suites by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 14 market-leading brands, is dedicated to delivering what matters most to travelers. The full service, upscale brand offers two-room suites, free made-to-order breakfast and a nightly two-hour reception with complimentary drinks and snacks. Both leisure and business travelers looking for a relaxed, yet sophisticated experience will feel right at home with brand-standard amenities like inviting atriums and complimentary 24-hour business and fitness centers. Embassy Suites by Hilton has 238 hotels with 48 in the pipeline. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations) available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. For more information, visit or Connect online with Embassy Suites by Hilton at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,100 properties with nearly 838,000 rooms in 103 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.