Last night it was a full house at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York as we honored four hospitality veterans for their diverse and captivating breadth of work at our annual 29th Platinum Circle Awards Gala. The black tie festive affair brought out more than 400 people to celebrate the recipients’ career achievements and milestones and to enjoy an evening of socializing and mingling in an intimate setting—proving that those in hospitality always make for a good party.
Along with honoring NEWH’s scholarship winners, we spent time getting to know our honorees, which included Sage Hospitality’s cofounder, president, and CEO Walter Isenberg. He spoke about humble beginnings in the industry and first mentor Phil Pistilli, who taught Isenberg that knowing the value of all of your employees was vital to success, and it’s one he’s never forgotten. It was touching, thoughtful, and often humorous words from Starwood Capital’s Kemper Hyers that introduced his friend and honoree Joan Cardy of The Cardy Group, who has helped elevate the design of such notable properties as 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge and the Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, both in New York. David Bowd of Salt Hotels welcomed Anda Andrei to the stage, who captivated the audience speaking about growing up in Romania and her life journey. But honoree Bill Bensley stole the show as he ventured off stage during his speech to shift the focus and recognize the hard work of his team. He ended the night by leaping off the stage triumphantly.
Thank you to all of our sponsors who helped to truly make this a special night for everyone and to all who came out to celebrate.