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Hilton University of Houston Housekeeping Staff Wins 'Most Improved' 2/15/2011

Staff members, many of whom are Hilton College students, take home award

HOUSTON, February 15, 2011 — The housekeeping staff of the Hilton University of Houston—more than half of which are students at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston—have proven themselves on a nationwide scale.

Hilton Worldwide has honored the Hilton University of Houston with the Most Improved Housekeeping SALT Award for hotels with 500 rooms or fewer. SALT (Satisfaction and Loyalty Tracking) is a survey that measures guests' satisfaction with their stay at Hilton hotels. It's the first time the hotel's staff has won such an award, which was presented on Jan. 12 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Fla.

"I think it's wonderful—it's an indication of what our renovation has brought to the hotel and what our Leadership Program has accomplished," said Fernando Cuéllar, general manager of the Hilton University of Houston. "It shows the dedication and passion of our students and staff as well, and it's a positive reflection on the faculty, staff and all who work here."

Cuéllar credits Hilton College's Leadership Program, which recruits students to work in the hotel in a variety of roles, as a major reason for the hotel's improved top-quality service.

"We have a tremendous emphasis on training now, and the students we're training are being educated in how to become hospitality leaders so they're invested in doing their best," Cuéllar said.

Hilton College Dean John Bowen said he was proud of the students and housekeeping staff at the Hilton University of Houston.

"We're producing top-notch students who have a passion for and are making a strong contribution to the hospitality industry, and this award is just another indication of that," he said.

Hilton University of Houston also underwent a $12.5 million renovation in 2010 that has provided a more welcoming environment to staff and guests alike. The hotel, which is part of the Hilton College complex, enables students to gain hands-on experience in guest service and hotel operations from seasoned hotel professionals with track records for excellence. In 1969, a donation from Conrad N. Hilton at the request of his sons founded the College in the state where his hotel career began.

Debbie Maurer