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J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence

Named for our founder and created in 1987, this award recognizes the company's finest associates who, through their extraordinary service, exemplify the timeless core values of our culture.

Meinrad Villano

Guest Experience Expert

Delta Hotels Edmonton Centre Suites

Fifteen years ago, Meinrad Villano emigrated to Canada from the Philippines to work as a Guest Experience Expert of the Delta Hotels Edmonton Centre Suites. He was not prepared for the dramatic change in climate — it was a chilly -50 degrees Celsius. Despite the weather, he knew he had found his second home at the front desk because he loves engaging with guests and associates and creating experiences that keep them returning to the hotel again and again.

Meinrad remembers names, faces and preferences as soon as he sees a return guest. He will often walk out from behind the front desk to greet guests with a handshake, handing them a bottle of water and asking about their day. In a recent review, a guest wrote, “With all the guests staying at the hotel, Meinrad made me feel very special with the personalized treatment he gave! He is one of the reasons I would not hesitate to stay at this hotel again.”

Meinrad best embodies the Delta brand’s three elements of service: Warm, Wise and In Control. He will warmly welcome guests and make sure he handles any challenges from start to finish. He has an “I can make it happen” attitude with every guest or associate.

For Meinrad, “above and beyond” service is simply his way of caring. If a guest asks for directions to a nearby restaurant, Meinrad will walk them there. Recently, a guest in a wheelchair missed her taxi to the bus station. Concerned she would miss her bus, Meinrad pushed her through the city to get to the station — an eleven-minute walk. Last year, wildfires in nearby Yellowknife displaced hundreds of people. Red Cross evacuees flocked to the hotel. Meinrad treated every guest with kindness and respect during a particularly challenging experience and helped relay all critical communications to the overwhelmed guests.

Meinrad is a shining example of service for his fellow associates. He invests time and attention to knowing guests’ preferences and then responding accordingly. Even if he’s not working, the front desk team can deliver exceptional service because of his meticulous notetaking about guest preferences. It sets the whole team up for success. General Manager Barnie Yerxa says, “When hiring, my first thought is, ‘how can we get more Meinrads here?’”