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Grand Colonial housekeeper lauded

By Laura Decorte

Maria Caridad Blancas, a housekeeper for 16 years at the Grande Colonial Hotel, recently received the Gold Key Hospitality Employee of the Year from the San Diego Hotel-Motel Association.

General Manager Terry Underwood nominated her for her outstanding work.

“Caridad exudes a warm, gracious and genuinely friendly personality that is infectious to all those with whom she comes into contact,” he said in press release. "Her nature is that of a very kind individual who understands that our business is hospitality and our primary role as employees in this industry is to make our guests feel at home during their visit.”

“It truly is an honor for a 69-year-old housekeeper,” said Leslie Araiza-Lorenzo, the hotel’s marketing director. “We’re extremely proud of her.” One other employee from the Grande Colonial Hotel, Jose Virissimo, was nominated for won the Golden Key in 2004.

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Awards are presented in 10 different categories to outstanding employees that have helped the tourism industry of San Diego.

Caridad received the award from Major Jerry Sanders in front of more than 500 hoteliers.