Park City Pulse: In awe of excellence

Jennifer Wesselhoff
Jennifer Wesselhoff is the president and CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau
Jennifer Wesselhoff, president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau. |
Courtesy of Jennifer Wesselhoff

In July, 165,000 Travel & Leisure readers selected six Park City properties for Utah’s Top 10 Accommodations. I thought of that several times on Sept. 14 as we sponsored the annual Park City Area Lodging Association Black Diamond Awards, honoring those whose excellence makes us shine daily.

I am in awe of this year’s recipients: 

Lodging Front of House: Janae Becker, Moose Management. “A wonderful human being” and “a dedicated front office employee,” Janae is known as Mom to everyone at Moose Management. Famous for the reminder “sticky notes” all over her desk, “she works them tirelessly,” a coworker says. With most employees working remotely, Janae is the face of the office, greeting everyone with kindness and assistance.

Lodging Back of House: Eladio Chacon, Stein Eriksen Lodge. The rave reviews for lodge surroundings are a credit to Eladio’s leadership. He manages a groundskeeping crew so dedicated they clean every river rock along the lodge’s famous brooks each spring — by hand. “Walking to our room was stunning.” “Beautiful and spotless” are just a few guest comments inspired by Eladio’s work.

Food and Beverage Front of House: Brannon Sturm, St. Regis Deer Valley. Housemen Supervisor Brannon does it all: houseman, bartender, server, or bar back. When the department was down a full-time bartender for months, Brannon stepped in to work entire shifts in addition to his regular duties. “His ability and knowledge help coworkers deliver flawless events,” says Banquet Director Audrey Baudry.

Food and Beverage Back of House: Jordan Fautz, Stein Eriksen Lodge. Kind and supportive, Lead Cook Jordan is a mentor and lifelong learner. When Forbes Front of House training arrived onsite, Jordan insisted on attending to better support his front of house colleagues. “His interest in others and understanding service delivery moved many of us on the culinary leadership team,” says Director of Back of House F&B Jonathan Miller.

Housekeeper of the Year: Carmen Pacheco, Vail Resorts. Carmen serves as a room attendant and inspector, lobby attendant, laundry attendant and house person on any given day. Her eagerness, thoroughness and easy smile make her widely admired. “We all agree having Carmen on the schedule allows us to breathe easier,” says Assistant Director Susan Reiss.

Manager of the Year: Josh Mellor, Newpark Resort. Whether it’s retail space buildouts, urgent elevator repair, construction during a busy period, or a hotel key upgrade, Facility and Property Manager Josh handles it all, meeting deadlines under pressure. But the Mountain Man breakfast he prepares for staff makes him a legend. His efficiency and morale-boosting ideas mean Josh personifies “the essence of an exceptional employee.”

Vendor of the Year: Sarah Shields, Elevation Food Service. “She recommended a competitor just so I could get what I needed,” says Tristian Forsythe of Marriott of Elevation’s Sarah Shields. “We wouldn’t have had a successful first season without her,” says Pierson Shields at St Regis. Whether it’s help importing Robert Gordon plates from Australia or getting a manufacturer to fix a crucial fryer fast, restauranteurs agree — Sarah is one of a kind.

Double Black Diamond Award: Chris Eggleton. Chris is a crucial player in the evolution of Newpark, working for years on its development before purchasing it with partner Chris Retzer from the local business people and longtime friends who started Newpark Resort Management in 2005. Chris stepped down as GM two years ago but remains as co-owner. His commitment to “family, community, and meaningful work” makes him an ongoing beacon of leadership in Park City.

Together, these individuals represent so many aspects of the Park City spirit — hard work, excellence, commitment to service, kindness, and improving the lives of others. Congratulations to all!

Jennifer Wesselhoff is the president and CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.


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