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It’s a great feeling working for a company that goes above and beyond to show its associates they’re appreciated. So when I stepped onto the terrace at the Sheraton Resort & Spa for the 18th Annual Best of the Best gala toasting a glass of champagne as the Co-President, David Brown, approached me to ask me how my evening was going, it was a fun, surreal experience. I smiled politely, shook his hand and expressed my gratitude for the event. He laughed and said he should be thanking me as he eyed my BE EPIC Champion of the Year badge.

This is when I knew it was going to be a good night.

The Best of the Best gala is an event that celebrates the BE EPIC Champions of the Year from each of our twenty resorts and Grand Pacific Vacation Services, along with honoring top resorts and general managers. The event highlights each champion’s dedication to Grand Pacific Resort’s core purpose of ‘Enriching Lives by Creating Experiences Worth Sharing.’ Associates are treated to a catered reception with management and an elegant evening complete with dinner, gifts, and an award ceremony.

Before moving positions to the Content Writer for the Marketing & Communications team at our home office I was lucky enough to be selected as the BE EPIC Champion of the Year for my work at Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort. It was an honor to represent a resort I enjoyed working for as their executive admin assistant for over four years, and also being recognized by my management team for my hard work. They have been supporters of my professional growth since the beginning and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

Knowing that I work for a company that supports my career goals and provides me opportunities to follow my passions added to the already fantastic night.

The evening started out with a picturesque sunset on the horizon of the Pacific Ocean as we filed into the Sheraton’s ballroom. The glamorous festivities started as David Brown and Nigel Lobo, Chief Operating Officer, took the stage, announcing winners from each resort and other top accolades.

Prior to the awards ceremony I was asked what song I’d like playing as I entered a room, and sure enough when my name was announced Royals by musician, Lorde, played as I walked the red carpet to accept my award, which was a fun personal touch. David introduced me to the crowd, sharing details about my passions and work experience within Grand Pacific Resorts, along with showing photos of me doing some of my favorite things. I received a trophy, box of chocolates, bottle of wine and a check, but I wasn’t done just yet! From the stage with the spotlights on me and the crowd of my peers below I took out my cell phone to take a selfie with David and Nigel who were (luckily) delightfully surprised. There was a roar of laughter from the audience as I snapped my photo, and I continued to laugh as I left the stage.

Grand Pacific Resorts - Best

Although I may have been the only associate to selfie with the Co-President and COO on stage, there were many rounds of applause that followed for each BE EPIC Champion. It was delightful to learn more about our properties across California and Hawaii and the other BE EPIC Champions of the Year. It was neat to hear that we all shared something in common: our passions seemed to cross over in both our personal and professional lives.

The rest of the evening was as jovial as the start and although the event was formal it felt more like a big family gathering for dinner, complete with giggles and supportive smiles, inside jokes, and heartfelt stories between friends.

After the event was over I couldn’t take the grin off my face. I shook my manager’s hand and hugged my favorite board member goodbye before heading out the door. I’m thankful for the place I work and look forward to seeing where my future takes me. As a writer, it’s exciting to find a workplace that aligns so well with my passions.


Ready to join Grand Pacific Resorts team of hospitality stars? Find out why Perspective Magazine has chosen Grand Pacific Resorts as Best Team for three years in a row. Visit the careers website for your next opportunity.