Customer service helps hotelier snag coveted national award
When corporate guests at the Staybridge Suites in Carmel fill out online reviews, they don’t just talk about the nice rooms and amenities, they mention Mary Donley by name. Donley, director of sales, prides herself in service. Her guests know it. She doesn’t just attend the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening socials, she’s the one serving drinks, treating everyone as if they were a guest in her own home.

Her special attention to customers is just one of the reasons Donley was named 2014 Best of the Best Director of Sales of the Year by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). It’s the first time the global award has gone to a sales director in the Midwest.

The winner is selected based on performance that goes above and beyond normal job responsibilities. IHG first took notice of Donley because of her sales performance, where she scored more than 100 percent on RevPAR (revenue per available room) every month for more than a year. Those figures were even more impressive when IHG factored in the competition of so many high-caliber, high-performing Carmel hotels.

“This speaks well of Carmel along hotel row, where we have so many beautifully run hotels, fantastic sales people and general managers,” Donley said.

A former university dean, Donley decided to make a career change when she was 50 and landed her first hotel job when the Marriott Hotel first opened in downtown Indianapolis 15 years ago. When Staybridge opened its Carmel hotel five years ago, Donley became its first – and only – director of sales.

“At 65, I still have the drive and motivation,” she said.

Achievement honors for sports complex
Accolades for Westfield’s Grand Park keep coming. The park received an achievement award for Real Estate Development during the 2014 Monumental Awards announced in November. Presented by the Indy Chamber, the annual awards recognize individuals and businesses that contribute to excellence in architecture, interior design, neighborhood revitalization, engineering, construction and public art throughout the region.

Earlier this week the city of Westfield was been chosen as the recipient of a 2014 Awards of Excellence Award from the Indiana Park and Recreation Association (IPRA). Each year, IPRA presents the awards to individuals and agencies across Indiana to honor their efforts - both personally and professionally in the field of Parks and Recreation.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition for Grand Park,” Mayor Andy Cook said. “The impact the park is bringing to Westfield and the surrounding communities is already being felt. We are excited about what we’ve been able to accomplish and what the future holds for Grand Park.”

The future of the Kincaid House
Now that the Kincaid House has a new prominent location overlooking Interstate 69 on the Navient campus in Fishers, it’s time to find new occupants for the two-story brick farmhouse. Hamilton County Tourism formed a countywide committee that met in early December, to discuss possible uses for the house. The committee is made up of representatives from the Hamilton County Tourism board and staff, preservation and arts organizations and other community stakeholders. It will work to identify the best use for the building that will both be appropriate for the site and also for the community.