Past Stars
NATHALIE COUTOU
KHEWA NATIVE ART BOUTIQUE

A tour group was destined for the Mackenzie King Estate but was unable to get there as all the parkways in Gatineau Park were closed.  The group made a frantic call to the Khewa Native Art Boutique in the hope that they could find somewhere nearby to go.  Although the gallery was not open, Nathalie greeted them at 10:00 AM, set up a teepee just for the group, entertained them with a traditional song of welcome, a smudging ceremony and she shared the story of the indigenous peoples of the area and invited everyone back into the gallery.  The tour business now uses this as a customer service case study during their annual spring training.

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2015
Steven Carnaffan – DJ Steve Austin
Professional Entertainment Group

During a couple’s wedding speeches, the bride’s father fell off the stage and broke his leg. He had to leave the reception venue without the traditional father-daughter dance. Following the reception, Steven took down his equipment and drove 17 km to the hotel where the guests were staying. At 1:30am, when the father arrived at their hotel in a wheelchair, Steve was set up and played the original song while people held the father up to dance with his daughter.

Steven_Carnaffan_STAR
2014
Mohammad Fadel
Quality Hotel Downtown Ottawa

A guest visiting from England stopped in Ottawa specifically with the hope of visiting the neighbourhood he grew up in 52 years before. After driving around for hours and being unable to locate the area, he was very disappointed and shared his story with Mohammed. The next morning, Mohammed offered to take them on a long drive around the city and surprised the guest by stopping at the old home the guest had originally come to see.

Mohammad Fadel of the Quality Hotel Downtown Ottawa
2013
Amanda Thomas & Paul Reid
Holiday Inn & Suites Ottawa

While on the way to check into the Holiday Inn & Suites Ottawa – Kanata, a guest was in a car accident.  The guest called her friend and, as the friend could not make it to the site quickly, she called the front desk at the hotel and spoke with Paul and then Amanda.  Paul went immediately over to the accident and picked up the guest’s luggage while Amanda stayed at the front desk to manage both Paul and Amanda’s responsibilities. Once at the scene of the accident, Paul spoke with the police officer and was told he could drive the car back to the hotel, leaving his own vehicle behind.  When the guest and their friend returned to the hotel at 12:30 am, there were four people at the desk waiting to welcome them and make sure the guest was ok.

PaulAmanda2013_Star
2012
Jacques Fillion

Some boaters got themselves into trouble when trying to dock. When the dock staff warned the couple that their line was wrapped beneath the boat to the point that it could rip the metal cleat off the bow of the boat, the wife yelled to her husband to put the boat in neutral. The dock staff were able to connect with their manager who contacted Jacques, an employee of the Casino and avid diver. Jacques went home and got his diving gear and returned to dive in, locate and cut the line, as well as inspect for any damage.

JACQUES FILLION
2011
Paul Norris
Lord Elgin Hotel

On a cold February night, a local restaurant was hosting a student group for dinner. When it came time for them to move on for skating on the Rideau Canal, the tour guide and teachers left a student behind. After spending time trying to reach the tour company, the student let the restaurant staff know that the group was staying at a local hotel. Upon reaching the hotel, Paul offered to head over to the Canal and find the group. In spite of the cold weather, snowy conditions, hundreds of tourists and darkness of night Paul found the group and called the restaurant to inform them. Ten minutes later the lost student was reunited with his group.

STARS_Paul2011
2010
Kamalesh Kasinathan
Holiday Inn & Suites Ottawa-Kanata

Shortly before the guest checked-out of the Holiday Inn & Suites Ottawa Kanata, Kamalesh knocked on the guest’s door, informing them that their car had been vandalized during the night. Kamalesh took the guests to their car to take pictures of the damage and called the police for them. Kamalesh then called a car rental agency that was open on Sunday and also several automotive glass replacement agencies in hopes to find one open. The husband asked Kamalesh if they could have some plastic and tape to cover the windshield due to the fact that it was a rainy day. Not only did Kamalesh supply the plastic and tape but he did it himself while the guests were having lunch.

STARS_Kamelesh2010
2009
Sampson Nabigon
Crowne Plaza Ottawa Hotel

While staying at the Crowne a guest received a phone call from home telling her that her father had just had a massive heart attack and had passed away.  She called the train station to change her return ticket but the next train out of Ottawa to her hometown of Belleville was not until 5:45am.  She was speaking to the front desk clerk of the hotel when Sampson came and asked her if she had tried the bus.  Sampson called the bus station and that schedule didn’t work either.  Sampson said to give him 5 minutes and when he returned offered that if she rented a car, he would drive her home and return the rental car the next day.  Knowing her family needed her, she accepted Sampson’s offer and when he finished his shift at 10:30 pm, they met in the lobby to go rent a car. They arrived in Belleville at 2:30 am and Sampson drove the rental car back to Ottawa as arranged.

STARS_Sampson2009
2007
Fiby Labib
Westin Ottawa

During her double shift, a guest visiting from Mexico came to Fiby in tears. As the guest could not speak English, Fiby searched the hotel for another staff member who could speak Spanish and together they discovered that the guests had left their passports, ID and jewelry in the safe at the hotel they had stayed in… in Montreal! As it was a long weekend, no overnight delivery was available and the guest was leaving for Toronto at 1pm the next day to fly back home. Concerned for the guest, Fiby offered to drive to Montreal. When her shift ended at 7:30am Fiby hopped in her car and after five hours of driving (and one speeding ticket), Fiby happily returned the guest’s forgotten items to her. Wowed by the star treatment they had received, the visitors left for home on time.

STARS_Fibi2007
2006
Ginette Pion
Femme de Carri

A woman came into the store desperately looking for the perfect outfit to wear to a gala dinner she was to attend that evening. Ginette spent three hours helping her shop in the store, then went with her to find shoes and helped her measure her new pants to just the right length for her great new heels. To help make the evening even more perfect, Ginette called and made a hair appointment for the customer. She then drove her to the appointment, took her pants in to get tailored and purchased fantastic accessories so that when her hair was done, the woman would be completely ready to “knock ‘em out” at her special event.

ginette
2005
Rosie Arruejo
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa

When a young guest at Les Suites Hotel Ottawa reported losing his favourite stuffed toy bear, the hotel’s Rosie Arruejo swung into action. She searched the hotel from top to bottom. She asked other staff members if they’d seen the bear. She even posted “missing bear” signs that the young guest had created. When the little bear still hadn’t turned up, Rosie purchased a replica and mailed it to the young guest – much to the delight of the guest and his family! For going above and beyond, Rosie has been named this year’s Star of the City.

rosie
2004
Christina Sauv
Residence Inn by Marriott Ottawa

Christina was chosen as the 2004 Star of the City for “going the extra mile” to help a guest with a transportation dilemma. After Christina realized that the guest had no way to get to his out-of-town meeting, she came to the hotel at 7 a.m. on her day off to pick up and drive him there. She waited for over an hour for the meeting to end, and took him back to the hotel where they picked up another guest. Christina then drove both guests to the bus station where she even helped them carry their bags!

christina
2003
John Tundo
Lord Elgin Hotel

A visitor had been walking along the Rideau Canal when she fell and fractured her wrist. She made it back to the hotel and requested the location of the nearest hospital or clinic. John took her to the nearest clinic (which did not have x-ray equipment) and then to the hospital. The visitor was supposed to be leaving on the 12 noon train but John made the necessary arrangements to have her ticket changed to a later train. When they returned to the hotel, he arranged for her to be given a room to lie down in until she had to catch her train home.

john
2002
Andy Ghazal
Blue Line Taxis

The 2002 Star of the City was Andy Ghazal, a taxi driver with Blueline Taxi Company whose honesty, quick thinking and diligence have become known across the city as the “Man who found ten thousand dollars”. When a family visiting from Saudi Arabia left a purse containing over $10,000 in his cab, Andy launched a frantic search to find the owners. He drove out to the Airport to return the purse and its contents to the incrediblly relieved and appreciative family. In true “Stars of the City” style, he said it never occurred to him to keep the money. “I’m sure if I lost my money, I’d appreciate some one returning it.”

andy
2001
Steve West
Albert at Bay Suite Hotel

Late one evening, after checking in, a guest approached the front desk enquiring as to whether or not there were any clothing stores open in the area. Unfortunately, the answer was no and noticing that the guest appeared upset, Steve asked if he could help. The guest indicated that he had just found out that he would be meeting with the Prime Minister first thing in the morning and had not packed anything suitable – all he had were blue jeans! Steve quickly asked the man his pant size and searched through the extra uniforms, but unfortunately, no fit was found. The man returned to his room not knowing what he would do. Steve wasn’t about to let a problem go unresolved, so, realizing that he and the guest were roughly the same size, offered his own pants – the ones he was wearing – to the guest. The guest jumped at this very generous offer and Steve spent the rest of his shift in the guest’s blue jeans.

steve
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