Our annual leadership conference gives us a chance to shine a light on the extraordinary efforts our team members make throughout the year to create the best guest experiences possible.

The Trendsetter Award pays special attention to achievement  for breaking new ground, overcoming challenges, inventing new ways of achieving results, or making exceptional contributions to the way our hotels do business. The 2019 Trendsetter Award recipient was Olga Yavdyk from Sonesta ES Suites Portland – Vancouver.

Olga came to the US in 2017 after having lived in several countries including, most recently, China. Originally from Ukraine, Olga’s desire to work in hotels stemmed from her worldwide travels and the positive experiences she’d had in hotels over the years.  Upon  her arrival in Washington State she was fluent in Russian and her native Ukrainian, but she spoke little English and most of what she’d learned was taught to her while living in China.

Olga was originally brought onto the staff in the role of Laundry Attendant in the summer of 2017.  She immediately enrolled in English classes  and, according to her Director of Housekeeping, she would tape her English lessons to a wall above the folding table and recite English phrases as she worked diligently to advance her knowledge of the language.

In late fall of 2017, after she’d been on the staff for 6 months, the hotel had a need to fill a Guest Service Agent position.  Olga, with her ever-ambitious mindset, asked for an opportunity to cross-train in the position and embraced the opportunity to learn new skills and to take on more responsibility.  She has recently taken over the ordering for the hotel’s Shoppe and begun cross training as a backup for the hotel’s Breakfast Attendant.

Once Olga established her fluency in English, she started taking classes in Japanese, Korean, and Spanish to better be able to communicate with international guests. Always showing leadership and a desire to help others, Olga has helped to grow the talents of those around her in all departments and set an example of just how far hard work and persistence can take a person in the hospitality field.

Please join us as we congratulate Olga for her contributions and successes!