Burt Cabañas, founder & chairman of Benchmark, a global hospitality company, announces that Alex Gillan, a guest service agent at The Heldrich in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is the recipient of the Chairman’s Award of Excellence.
The annual award recognizes a Benchmark employee who has exhibited extraordinary service throughout the previous year, actively demonstrating the company’s “Be the Difference” culture. Mr. Gillan was nominated for the Award of Excellence by Stacy Martin, a Benchmark executive who was general manager of The Heldrich at the time. Benchmark CEO Alex Cabañas presented the prestigious award recently in a special ceremony at the company’s Home Office near Houston.
“Alex’s commitment to our guests, his teammates and to the community shows both compassion and courage,” says Mr. Cabañas. “His volunteer work with the American Red Cross spans more than 10 years and multiple disasters that have hit New Jersey. These included helping to house and counsel victims left homeless by fire, and responding to the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, one of the worst storms ever to hit the state.”
Alex Gillan’s efforts as part of a select group of volunteers during Hurricane Sandy were recognized with the Disaster Response Exemplary Service Award in a special ceremony attended by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Mr. Gillan also volunteers as a mentor to high school students, helping them with college and job applications and developing interview skills.
His excellent service and care for The Heldrich’s guests have drawn numerous commendations and the hotel’s employee award as the Best of the Best. One guest wrote of how Mr. Gillian, overhearing her talking on the phone about her father’s sudden hospitalization, offered to pray for her and her family. The guest said the gesture meant a great deal to her at a very trying time.
“Alex is an ideal example of Benchmark’s ‘Be the Difference’ service culture in action,” says Alex Cabañas. “My father, Burt, made this a core value of the company, empowering our employees to make decisions that make a difference in people’s lives.”
Alex Gillan agrees. “The Be the Difference philosophy has been a real game changer for me. I appreciate that Benchmark gives us an opportunity to make that difference every day, to take little things and make something beautiful.”