2009 Tommy Star Awards Will Honor Maho Bay Camps Founder Stanley Selengut

The USVI Hotel and Tourism Association is preparing for the largest hospitality recognition event in the territory, the annual Tommy Star Awards and Gala, on Saturday, November 21, at 7 p.m. at St. Peter’s Great House.

These coveted awards are presented to employees who provide an unmatched level of customer service and are an asset to their companies. Tickets are $125 per person.

After a series of interviews, one nominee in the following categories is chosen to receive the Tommy Star Award: Hotel Supervisor of the Year; Hotel Associate of the Year; Hospitality Associate of the Year; Retail Associate of the Year; Restaurant  Associate of the Year; Activities/Attraction Associate of the Year; Airline Associate of the Year; Taxi Operator of the Year; and Public Service Associate of the Year.

A new award category has been added to this year’s roster — the Tommy Green Award. Jennifer McQueen, Public Relations Manager at the Ritz Carlton, will receive this award. McQueen was chosen because of her ongoing personal interest in environmental issues, for going above and beyond her normal duties, and because her initiatives are recognized by both co-workers and guests.

The association will again present a Tommy Student Award. This year’s award will go to Akeiba Barnard, a 7 grader at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School.

Stanley Selengut, owner of Maho Bay Campgrounds, Harmony Studios, and Estate Concordia Eco-tents, will receive the 2009 Tommy Star Award of Excellence. The octogenarian is a civil engineer specializing in sustainable resort development.

A consulting assignment on low-income housing for the Rockefeller brothers led Selengut to the Virgin Islands many years ago. The environment remains one of his priorities and this is evident in the existing programs at his properties.

Selengut has served as a Founding Board Member of the International Ecotourism Society and on the National Council of the National Parks and Conservation Association. Former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit appointed him to the National Park System Advisory Board.

For more information on the 2009 Tommy Awards, call 774-6835.