Chelsea's garage sales add up! GTHA Spirit Awards. Chef Paul Moran wins Top Chef Canada. ORHMA Simcoe Gala winners. RLH Corp launches Bright Innovations Award.

Chelsea's garage sales add up!

From left: Gillian Jaramillo, executive housekeeper; Sara Park, assistant executive housekeeper; Annette Harper, coordinator – housekeeping; Shuk Yi Chiu, assistant executive housekeeper.

From left: Gillian Jaramillo, executive housekeeper; Sara Park, assistant executive housekeeper; Annette Harper, coordinator – housekeeping; Shuk Yi Chiu, assistant executive housekeeper.

TORONTO — It all began in 2012, when Gillian Jaramillo, executive housekeeper at the Chelsea Hotel, sold some discarded sheets from the hotel to staff, and raised $1,500 for Habitat for Humanity. The success of that venture spurred the housekeeping department to try harder to raise money for Camp Oochigeas, which allows kids with cancer and their families to go to summer camp.

“It wasn't a big jump to the garage sales,” Jaramillo told CLN. “We had quite a bit in our lost and found. We keep every item for two months, but if the items are unclaimed and suitable for sale, we sell them to staff members.

“We have a plethora of sunglasses and chargers,” she noted. There are lots of books, and a recent treasure was a framed picture of the Beatles crossing Abby Road.

The sales are held in the housekeeping department — Jaramillo's office to be specific. “We do a large garage sales three times a year, plus pop up shops. With the pop up shops, we spend an hour and a half and can earn $150, and everyone is happy. It's hard work, to set things up and price everything. The pop up shops are a huge source of income, and we can have as many and two a week!'

They now raise money for three charities: Camp Ooch, Heart & Stroke, and Yonge Street Mission. This year in April alone, they raised $6,365.00 for Camp Ooch — enough for two families to go to the camp, which costs $3,000 per family per week.

From 2013 to 2019, the housekeeping department has raised $53,000 for the three charities.

“Every day when we come in, we see people bringing and donating things,” said Sara Park, assistant executive housekeeper, who has been with the Chelsea housekeeping department for five years. “When we have enough, we send an email to everyone. People don't hesitate to buy things — they know it all goes into fundraising. We have quite a large area with a board room table, and it fills up every day.”

“We all have jobs to do in laundry and housekeeping, but we can take 20 minutes to set things up and people in the office keep an eye on it,” said Jaramillo. “We have a lot of fun with the garage sales, and we don't mind harassing people!”

GTHA announces winners of 2019 Spirit Awards

Dan Bell of the Harbour Castle Westin (centre) was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dan Bell of the Harbour Castle Westin (centre) was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

TORONTO – Over six hundred and fifty members of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA) gathered on Friday, May 10, 2019 to honour colleagues in the region’s hotel industry. The eighth annual Spirit Awards Luncheon presented by the GTHA recognized 279 nominees and 18 award winners for their contributions in the hotel industry.

“It is with great pride that the GTHA celebrates the service, professionalism and innovation of these Ambassadors in the hotel community” said GTHA President & CEO Terry Mundell. “Our congratulations go out to each nominee and award winner for their outstanding service to guests visiting GTHA member hotels”.

The winners of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association’s 8th Annual Spirit Awards are:

Accounting Ambassador of the Year: Ana Dimacali, Westin Harbour Castle Hotel

Administration Ambassador of the Year: Sharen Kandola, Chelsea Hotel Toronto

Banquet Ambassador of the Year: Martin Schuh, Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville

Bell Person Ambassador of the Year: Kareem Henaway, Thompson Toronto Hotel

Concierge of the Year: Nawin Mutti, Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville

Culinary Ambassador of the Year: Poornum Maudhoo, Novotel Mississauga

Engineering Ambassador of the Year: Abraham Jesuthasan, Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites

Food and Beverage Outlets Ambassador of the Year: Bogusalwa Konefal, Sheraton Gateway Hotel

Guest Services Ambassador of the Year: Jonas Gonzales, The Strathcona Hotel

Housekeeping Room Attendant Ambassador of the Year: Yan Pan Chow, Novotel North York

Housekeeping Support Service Ambassador of the Year: Sharlene Williams, InterContinental Toronto Centre

Laundry Ambassador of the Year: Shanmugasundram Prabaharan, Hilton Mississauga Meadowvale

Lifetime Achievement Award: Dan Bell, Westin Harbour Castle Hotel

Reservations Ambassador of the Year: Shujing Wang, the Omni King Edward Hotel

Security Ambassador of the Year: Anton Kovacevic, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel

Steward of the Year: Donovan Williams, Holiday Inn Toronto Yorkdale

Switchboard Operator of the Year: Taylor Noj, Fairmont Royal York

Valet/Door Person/Shuttle Driver Ambassador of the Year: Juan Giraldo, One King West Hotel & Residence

Chef Paul Moran wins Top Chef Canada

TOFINO, B.C. — Chef Paul Moran of 1909 Kitchen at Tofino Resort and Marina, won the coveted title of Canada’s Top Chef during the final episode of Top Chef CanadaSeason 7, which aired earlier this month on Food Network Canada.

“Competing on Top Chef Canada has been an unforgettable experience,” says Chef Paul Moran. “The intensity and level of talent on the show created a unique environment that I am very grateful to have been a part of.”

During the season finale of Top Chef Canada, chef Paul excelled in the first elimination challenge alongside fellow BC chef Phil Scarfone (Nightingale Restaurant, Vancouver) with an ambitious potato, truffle and kabocha squash gnocchi with charred eggplant truffle purée. The esteemed judging panel commented on the dish – “a masterpiece of vegetarian cookery” (Chris Nuttall-Smith), which demonstrated “tremendous maturity” (Chef Mark McEwan).

The final challenge was held at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel, near Cambridge, Ont.

ORHMA Simcoe Gala winners


Favourite Server: Paul Mastrokyriakos – The Boathouse Eatery – Midland

Favourite Bartender:
Anne MacDonald – Nottawasaga Inn Resort – Alliston

Favourite Accommodation Agent: Parambir Gill – Nottawasaga Inn Resort – Alliston

Favourite Restaurant: Shine Juice Bar and Cafe – Orillia

Favourite Bar/Nightclub: The Boathouse Eatery – Midland

Favourite Accommodations Facility: Nottawasaga Inn Resort – Alliston

Favourite Recreational/Tourism Facility: Casino Rama – Orillia

Favourite Regional Festival/Event: Buttertart Festival – Midland


Accommodations Manager of the Year:Steven Ollerenshaw – Casino Rama

Restaurant/Nightclub/Bar Manager of the Year: Norma Jean Burnie – Grape & Olive Wine & Martini Bistro

Kitchen Manager of the Year: Keith Sprunt – Casino Rama

Hospitality and Tourism Industry Recognition Award: Andrea Sullivan – Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn and Conference Centre

Industry Supplier of the Year: Alliston Creamery – Alliston

Heart of House Award: Lois Bickerstaff – Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn and Conference Centre; Lynda Fairhead & Wanda Shedlowich – Nottawasaga Inn Resort and Susan DeVogel-Troch— Living Water Resorts (posthumous).

Icons and Innovators Award: The Dubeau Family – Midland

Operations Hero Award: JR Faulkner – Nottawasaga Inn Resort

RLH Corp launches Bright Innovations Award

Roshen Patel,

Roshen Patel,

DENVER — RLH Corporation celebrated technology innovation and advancements and the success of Asian Americans in the hospitality industry at the 2019 AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owners Association) Annual Conference & Convention in San Diego. The company is an advocate for AAHOA and an ongoing sponsor of the association’s events.

As part of the conference, the company awarded the RLH Corporation 2019 Bright Innovations Award. As an innovation-driven company, RLH Corporation focuses on ways to create cutting-edge technology and revenue programs for its properties. RLH Corporation brands also offer consumers a guest experience that puts technology at the forefront.

“Our focus on technology was the inspiration for creating the Bright Innovations Award in 2017,” said RLH Corporation EVP of Franchise Operations & Sales, Harry Sladich. “We wanted to recognize leaders who have made major contributions toward innovative advancements in the hospitality industry.”

The RLH Corporation 2019 Bright Innovation Award recognized Roshen Patel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, for the development of his company.

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