UMF Corporation announced the recipient of the company’s first annual Guest Room Attendant Excellence Award, which acknowledges the contributions of guest room attendants (GRAs) at hotels across the United States. Katrina Minnis, a GRA at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, is the recipient of this year’s award, which celebrates the workers who serve as the first line of defense in ensuring a safe hotel environment.
“At Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, the safety and security of our guests and colleagues are top priorities,” said Chris Carter, director of operations, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. “Ms. Minnis has served as a core part of our team throughout this challenging year. She volunteered to return to work as the hotel remained open to support guests staying at the hotel while they were preparing and supporting an alternative care facility that was built at McCormick Place for COVID-19 response. She is such a deserving recipient of this honor.”
According to the CDC, one of the top five recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. And, the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s (AHLA’s) Stay Safe program, launched in response to the pandemic, is “focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, safe social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19.” Housekeeping staff are crucial to these initiatives.
“Hospitality housekeeping departments can be taken for granted, but they play an essential role in keeping hotel environments safe,” said UMF CEO George Clarke. “We are thrilled to acknowledge their invaluable contributions with our first annual Guest Room Attendant Excellence Award. Ms. Minnis gave her time and expertise at the onset of the pandemic to ensure the highest levels of safety and wellbeing for all, especially those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, and is the personification of GRA excellence.”
Cleaning and disinfection are in the spotlight more than ever as the world fights COVID-19. In hospitality, this has elevated the work of housekeeping departments, which are adopting hospital-grade infection prevention programs. GRAs such as Ms. Minnis play a critical part in guest satisfaction and safety as the industry copes with this new normal.
As this year’s recipient, Ms. Minnis will receive an all-expenses paid trip for two, including airfare to a location of her choice within the 48 contiguous states, or the cash equivalent.