A resort front desk agent and a marina jet boat captain were recognized as special hospitality industry front-line employees at the Fort Myers Beach Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Charley's Boat House Grill Thursday.
Best Western Plus Beach Resort's Joy Peoples and Jet Boat Fun's Alex Frankian are the May recipients of the Hospitality Heroes Award, an award that the Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Island Sand Paper have partnered in to honor hospitality leaders from restaurants, accommodations, retail shops or other tourism industry service providers on or near Fort Myers Beach in the months of February, March, April and May.
Customers have raved about the service that Peoples provides at Best Western Plus. She is both a front desk agent and a night auditor for the resort that is located at 684 Estero Blvd. Comments include, "Joy is outstanding .. very nice, friendly and helpful;" "Joy was exceptional .. any question was answered quickly, efficiently and professionally .. she became the face of Best Western .. due to her professional demeanor, we will be staying at Best Western when we return to Fort Myers Beach;" "We have stayed here three years in a row, but our first experience with her made us decide to return."
Best Western Plus Beach Resort's Joy Peoples was honored as a Hospitality Hero for doing an exceptional job at her place of employment. Beach Chamber President Bud Nocera presents her with a check for $500 as Best Western Plus Owner Paul Malbon stands by.
The Fort Myers resident, who was nominated by General Manager Tim Malbon and Assistant General Manager Jeff Malbon, has worked for Best Western Plus since July 2006.
"Joy Peoples is exactly the type of Fort Myers Beach hospitality industry employee we had in mind when Hospitality Heroes was created," said Beach Chamber President Bud Nocera. "She represents the can-do, friendly spirit that makes our visitors return often.
Peoples was actually surprised to receive a check for $500. She thought she was just being recognized and getting a free lunch.
"To me, it's amazing. It's nice to be appreciated by your bosses and customers," she said. "What my customers feel is 'above and beyond' is just what I would do naturally. I always try to do more than one would expect. It just comes naturally for me."
For the past year, Frankian has captained close to 500 jet boat rides for more than 4,000 Beach visitors and incorporates history, humor and attention to safety to ensure all customers have a great experience. Jet Boat Fun is located at Salty Sam's Marina.
"Alex Frankian is a true Hospitality Hero for our company," wrote Jet Boat Fun Owner Capt. Dan Mendat, the nominator. "His frontline customer service continues to blow me away daily. His ability to interact with customers and make them feel safe and secure on an extreme thrill ride is top shelf."
While TripAdvisor comments usually focus on the business, many centered on the employee in Frankian's case. "Captain Alex is accommodating, makes it informative and is tons of fun" .. "he is fantastic and a great story teller" .. "it is truly wonderful to be with someone who thoroughly loves his job."
The Fort Myers Beach resident enjoys being a captain on the state-of-the-art aluminum boats that rides like a jet ski on the surface of the water. He was surprised about the honor and the $500 check.
"I'm blown away and really flattered," said Frankian, whose customers usually state the ride was amazing and that they have never done that in boat before.
Frankian did give kudos to Capt. Mendat and his wife Dianne. He also reacted to what customers say about him.
"I'm the front line, so that is what sticks in their brains," he said. "I'm just happy to be working for these great people who are like family to me."
This marks the final recognition of the year. Nominations will again be sought for the following tourism season. Call 454-7500 for more information.