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BUSAKORN LEK KIDKARNDEE

WALDORF ASTORIA NEW YORK


Years of Service: 8 | Organizational Affiliations: NYCAHC
How and when did I become a Concierge?
I was once a teacher in Thailand, and, as a teacher, you always
want to see your students grow up to be the best they can be.
With my knowledge and experience, I was able to help mold them
to be the people they are today. Being a Concierge, I have the
same passion for our guests. From working as a hostess in the Paramount Hotel, to
the wonderful six years I devoted to the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria, I have enjoyed
assisting guests whenever and however I can. When the opportunity presented itself to
work as a Concierge eight years ago, I worked my way up to where I am today. I'm still
learning every day from my colleagues, my peers, as well as our guests. This is what I
love to do. It's not only a job but has become a sense of duty. Over the past 14 years,
it has been a pleasure to love and serve the City of New York.
What does being a Concierge mean to me?
I believe that all of the New York City Concierge are unstoppable. For years, I have
always admired how hard people in the hotel industry work, whom are always on call
to cater to any request a guest needs. We go above and beyond to make the impos-
sible possible for our clients, and I am proud to be part of it. When a guest gets in
touch with a Concierge, they are truly speaking with a living, breathing and walking
guidebook of the city! With our wealth of experience and expansive local expertise,
we are dedicated to gain a guest's satisfaction in any way possible. By doing so, we
also create a family of vendors, organizations and other affiliations with New York-
based partners, because we are committed to the success of all businesses in our
network of contacts. I cannot be happier than to be part of New York City and my
Waldorf Astoria family.
POLINA ROZE
NEW YORK MARRIOTT MARQUIS TIMES SQUARE
Years of Service: 21 | Organizational Affiliations: NYCAHC,
Les Clefs dOr USA
How and when did I become a Concierge?
I was introduced to the glorious hospitality industry in 1993
straight from graduating N.Y.U. with a Communications degree,
when I applied for a summer position at the New York Marriott
Marquis Times Square. I was so excited to be hired as a Front Desk agent in the
Lobby (along with other duties) of this vast property. I absolutely loved every aspect of
my job and didnt want to leave the hotel. The non-stop daily interaction with people
from all over the globe was extremely invigorating and rewarding. I learned so much
and I decided at that moment that I wanted to continue to service and accommodate
people visiting the hotel and also personally experience the best NYC has to offer.
Within six months, I was highly recommended to transfer to the Concierge position by
the entire Concierge team, whom I had respected since the first day I arrived at the
hotel. These are my mentors who helped train me and encourage me to grow in my
field and inspired me to further develop my hospitality skills by joining the NYCAHC
and later the prestigious Les Clefs dOr USA organization. I was challenged and put
to the test on a very busy, short-staffed Saturday night. That was the beginning of my
career and the rest is history.
What does being a Concierge mean to me?
I believe hotel Concierge are true ambassadors to the Big Apple. Being a profes-
sional hotel Concierge is a complete lifestyle. The desire to soak in everything, par-
ticipate in charitable and fundraising activities within the Concierge community, and
exploring NYC daily to bring personal recommendations and provide feedback to
guests is fundamental! Being a great hotel Concierge means being committed to
continuously producing results that exceed guests expectations. Knowing their wish
to return is partly based on my personal touch and treatment is very rewarding. I
respect all that my fellow hotel Concierge do and admire how much they contribute
to our amazing city. Im honored and truly humbled to be nominated for Concierge of
the Year by my wonderful peers. I appreciate the support of my Concierge team and
hotel management.
BOGNA STRZELCZYK-FLYNN
THE WESTIN NEW YORK GRAND CENTRAL
Years of Service: 11 | Organizational Affiliations: NYCAHC
(Board Member: currently serving as Public Relation Director, pre-
viously Treasurer, Public Relations Director and Social Director)
How and when did I become a Concierge?
It was with great anticipation and excitement that I looked for-
ward to my first visit to NYC. I spent an enormous amount of
time learning about this fascinating city, the sights, the museums, what to see first,
how to fit it all in, and not miss anything important. The restaurants, the theatre I just
couldnt get enough, and, the more I read, the more intrigued I became and wanted
to learn more. It was the day I arrived that the excitement of really being here hit me.
This is when my passion with New York City started, and it was then and there that I
decided that I would like a career where I could integrate my newfound knowledge,
intrigue and passion with the city and help visitors navigate the city so that they can
get the most out of their visit. My career in hospitality started at the beautiful Kimberly
Hotel. It was under the very watchful eye, expertise and guidance of my then Chef
Concierge, Peter Johnson, that I mastered the profession of Concierge.
What does being a Concierge mean to me?
To me, a Concierge is the master key that opens all doors for visitors to enjoy New
York City by creating a collage of experiences and memories. It is my pleasure and
passion to work with visitors to make their wishes come true and their trip to NYC
memorable. Nothing is more rewarding to me than to see a person that I guided come
back to me with a great smile and say, thanks to you, we had a wonderful time.
Its really a wonderful feeling to know that I was able to share my knowledge to help
someone have a good experience in the Big Apple. It really makes it all worthwhile.
KATHLEEN NUGENT-HARRIS
LOEWS REGENCY HOTEL
Years of Service: 25-plus | Organizational Affiliations: Les
Clefs dOr USA, NYCAHC, Concierge Choice Awards Committee
How and when did I become a Concierge?
I grew up in New England and was intrigued with foreign lan-
guages especially after my family hosted an exchange student
from El Salvador. I later went to Peru as an exchange student
and learned a lot about Peruvian culture and myself. My experiences in Peru whet
my appetite for traveling and learning languages. I subsequently lived and studied
for a year in Rennes, France and another year in Valencia, Spain. I later moved to
Rabat, Morocco and taught English as a Second Language there for three years.
Upon my return to the United States, I decided to move to New York where I thought
the possibilities of using my knowledge of languages was much greater than in New
England. I happened to meet Giorgio Finocchiaro, one of the founders of Les Clefs
dOr, through a job interview and he recommended I contact David Lopez, Chef
Concierge at the Drake Swissotel. David and I worked together at the Drake for a
year before we both moved to the Loews Regency Hotel, where I presently work.
What does being a Concierge mean to me?
The Concierge is the heart of the hotel, a good listener and confidant, a trouble-
shooter and able to prioritize many tasks. The Concierge is an ambassador of the
city whose job is constantly changing, constantly challenging and deeply rewarding.
Being a Concierge requires a tremendous amount of creativity, patience and passion.
It is extremely gratifying to me to be part of creating lasting memories for our hotel
guests and making the hotel their home away from home.
JAMES LAMBOGLIA THE PLAZA HOTEL
Years of Service: 11 | Organizational Affiliations: Les Clefs
dOr USA, NYCAHC (Board of Directors)
How and when did I become a Concierge?
Born in San Francisco, my career in the hospitality industry
started as a Front Desk Receptionist at a small boutique hotel in
San Francisco called the Commodore, part of the Joie de Vivre
hotel collection. While there, I learned everything about working
in a hotel: checking in guests, Concierge, Reservations, even acting as a Bellman.
I then moved to Chicago and worked as a Front Desk Agent at the luxurious Four
Seasons Hotel Chicagorenowned for its exceptional service. I worked my way up to
Front Office Management and transferred to Chicagos sister property in Manhattan,
the Four Seasons Hotel New York. In New York, I started to become interested in the
idea of becoming a Concierge. I became the Chef Concierge at the trendy Hudson
New York Hotel. Later on, I moved to the W New York. Now, I am very happy to be at
the legendary Plaza Hotel.
What does being a Concierge mean to me?
Being a Concierge in New York City is a very prestigious and highly esteemed posi-
tion. Hotel guests come to our desk asking for advice and the best recommendations.
The Concierge is seen as a problem solver, someone with a wealth of knowledge and
experience that can make their wishes come true. Friends and family are also always
asking me, the Concierge, where I would go and what I would do. It can be challeng-
ing at times because you always want to deliver the best service, get your guests into
the best restaurants and nightclubs and get them the best seats to Beautiful The
Carole King Musical and Aladdin. It is also a job where you are always learning or
hearing about something new. There is always a new show, new restaurant or new
trend to stay on top of. It is also very rewarding because making people happy makes
me happy.
2014 Concierge of the Year Nominees