Tourism Talks

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism Honors Hospitality Employee with Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award

When it comes to making Santa Monica a welcoming destination for visitors around the world, nothing is more important than the service provided by those who form the fabric of our local hospitality industry.

To this end, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT), in partnership with the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, recognizes one outstanding member of our hospitality industry with the annual Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award. SMTT is pleased to share that this year’s winner is Fernando Ceron of Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.

Fernando has been leading the arrival and departure experience at the Loews Hotel since 1989. For the 29 years in his role, Fernando has made memorable impressions with guests visiting the city and staying in the hotel. He has an uncanny ability to remember guests even after many years away from the hotel. He will often pull out a photo of a guest’s child taken many years ago and share some details of what he remembers from their last stay. He truly is an ambassador for the hotel and the destination, and is continually recognized by guests. This unwavering dedication to his job and the community has not gone unnoticed. Fernando has won just about every Loews recognition during his career including Team Member of the Month 6 times, Team Member of the year, the hotel’s Don Foreman Award as well as the Loews Legend Award. The latter is Loews’ Hotels most prestigious team member recognition.

When asked what he likes most about what he does, Fernando is quick to reply it’s about the people, helping guests and team members. It’s about lasting friendships, making people feel welcome and most importantly treating people like family. Fernando strongly believes he has learned these values from his mother in which he is very close to. He often refers to her advice “when you do something for a person, do it from your heart and do not expect something in return”. This family philosophy resonates in his character every day and is a large reason why he was selected for the Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award.

Named in honor of an exceptional 23-year employee of SMTT, the Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award provides hotels, restaurants, taxi companies, attractions and services an opportunity to recognize exemplary performance and exceptional service by an employee in either a management or non-management position or by a visitor. Nominees are judged on performance that goes above and beyond normal job responsibilities, outstanding and exemplary service to the property, to the guests, and to the community. Award winners are selected and honored annually, in partnership with Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, with the Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award each May during the annual Santa Monica Travel & Tourism Summit.

To nominate a candidate for a future Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award visit