Timeshare Industry Salutes Award Winners of ARDA Circle of Excellence

Part of the excitement of last week’s ARDA conference (American Resort Development Association) in Orlando was the 2011 Awards Gala. As Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA explains, “It’s about recognizing the ‘best of the best’ in the vacation ownership industry. We shine the spotlight on those individuals whose peers have nominated them for the impact and perseverance they have shown in their professional lives.”

The awards event, which was sponsored by Holiday Systems International (HSI), recognized outstanding accomplishments by companies, teams, resorts, and individuals. Here’s a rundown of the 2011 Circle of Excellence (ACE) winners:

The 2011 ACE Women on their Way Award Kimberly Johnston-Tramontana of Breckenridge Grand Vacations. This award recognizes the outstanding achievements of women who continue to excel and advance in the timeshare and vacation ownership industry.

The 2011 ACE Spirit of Hospitality Award (formerly known as the Employee Award) went to Janeth Olachea of Park Plaza Resort. This award recognizes an outstanding employee within the industry who demonstrates commitment, loyalty, superior performance and willingness to go above and beyond.

The 2011 ACE Community Service Award was made to Winter Park Construction (WPC) for their Home At Last Project, designed to provide combat-wounded US veterans of military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan with custom-built, mortgage-free homes.

The 2011 ACE Philanthropic Award recognizes the outstanding philanthropic effort for a humanitarian cause by an individual or company. This year’s award was a tie between Orange Lake Resorts/Holiday Inn Club Vacations (HCV) and Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI). Orange Lake Resorts’ flagship Orlando timeshare, for over 25 years, has worked to build and maintain lasting relationships with several worldwide organizations that serve others in need, as well as with local community partners. Marriott timeshare has raised more than $71 million dollars for Children’s Miracle Network over the last 25+ years.

The 2011 ACE Innovator Award went to RCI, for its Weeks Enhancement program, a plan designed for enhancing RCI’s Exchange membership programs and online customer experience. The ACE Innovator Award recognizes those within the timeshare business who have successfully implemented a groundbreaking product, service or concept.

The 2011 ACE Volunteer Award was presented this year to Tom Bell as a member of ARDA who consistently gives his/her time, energy, creativity, and talents to further ARDA’s goals and objectives. Tom has been actively involved in the timeshare industry for nearly 30 years as powerful advocate for strong and balanced timeshare legislation around the country and the world.

The 2011 ACE Employer of the Year Award went to timeshare exchange company, Interval International. The award honors an employer within the timeshare industry that demonstrates exceptional commitment to its employees. Interval International has shown 35 years of providing growth opportunities for its employees, encouraging employee involvement in activities that promote the growth of the shared ownership industry and playing active roles in timeshare related trade associations.

The Ace Project of Excellence is given to a successful project that represents months and years of cooperation between all parties involved and is considered a success not only by investors but by the owners and the local community. This year’s winner, Starwood Vacation Ownership, took home the prize for their successful timeshare project, The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, which symbolizes the first introduction of the Westin brand and a deluxe vacation ownership product to the North Shore of Kaua’i in Hawaii.

Finally we get to one of the most special awards, The 2011 ACE Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s winner of the ACE Lifetime Achievement Award is Bill Ingersoll, one of the early organizers of the American Land Development Association (ALDA), which eventually became ARDA. Bill was also ARDA’s General Counsel and demonstrated leadership, professionalism, creativity, reliability and quality standards and ethics within an outstanding body of work.

Congratulations to all the winners. The timeshare and vacation ownership industry includes many talented people who commit their skills and their hearts to making timeshare a stronger more meaningful product. Thank you ARDA for honoring these recipients.

Besides the ACE Awards, ARDA awarded ARDY’s to finalists in sales and marketing; management and administration; advertising and promotion; and resort design categories. For a complete list of winners and finalists, go to www.ARDA.org/awards.