Category: Commitment

St. Jude’s Walk/Run to honor Madaline Ansalone

On Saturday, September 28th, Denihan participated in the St. Jude’s Walk/Run to honor Madaline Ansalone.

Denihan had a group of Madaline’s colleagues and family participate and the group raised over $7000 for St. Jude’s.  Out of 209 teams, Denihan’s team was in the top 10 in funds raised!  Overall the New York St. Jude’s walk raised $384,668 and this all goes to cover the cost of hospital stays for children with cancer.

Thank you to all that participated and donated.  Madaline would be so proud of what we accomplished!

Everyone Loves Training!

Recently the Corporate Operations Team hosted a two and a half day training session on “How to Train Associates on SOPs”.  The training was centered all around service and conducted by The Freeman Group, who assisted in putting together the company SOPs. Twelve managers from our six properties worked together on understanding our SOPs, how to train our associates on them, and most importantly how to keep our SOP Training ‘Alive’ each and every day!  Role-playing, coaching and fun was all part of this successful session and our ‘trainers’ are extremely excited to share their learning’s and to train at their properties! 


March and April Shout Outs!

Our March Shout Out goes to:  Nicole Haber, Design Director and Amaris Olivo-Brito, Corporate Senior Accountant

Nicole was integral to the completion of the Gardens room renovation project on time! As our design director she worked hard to deliver a universally acclaimed design that was well thought out and very much liked by our owners, associates and guests. She diligently worked with multiple vendors to ensure that all furniture arrived in New York on time. As furniture was installed in the hotel, Nicole was present to work through problems as they arose. She worked closely with the property team to understand their issues and came up with prompt plans to resolve these issues as necessary.


Amaris played a key role in working with Design and Construction to deliver the Gardens renovation project on schedule. She promptly provided executed Purchase Orders to facilitate quick payments to multiple vendors. She processed these payments in record time!


Thank you Nicole & Amaras for all your hard work!


We would also like to recognize Carol Lemire,  who has gone above and beyond in supporting the Executive Office taking on additional responsibilities, ALIS & NYU Conference planning in addition to her busy schedule.  She has been a great support to Patrick, and Brooke in Mary’s absence, often coming in early and leaving late.   She stepped up when there was a need for a Notary – she was the only one who took the initiative, studied hard and passed the test to help out.  Thank you Carol for all you do!



And the April Shout Out goes to:

Jonathan Lam, Area Director Revenue Management

Jonathan is extremely strategic, collaborates with other team members to find solutions to drive results and is a team player. His sense of humor and polite nature motivates the team in stressful times. 

He deserves recognition for driving market share YTD for both The Benjamin and Fifty. He has shown double digit rate growth in addition to exceeding budgeted revenues for The Benjamin. Thank you Jonathan for all you do!

January Shout Outs!

Our January Shout Winner is:

Tulsi Drepaul, Senior Director of Purchasing who successfully negotiated down multiple Gardens NYC renovation vendors to over 50% reductions from list pricing. Tulsi has saved the project close to $100K!. She has worked with the D&C team to find multiple James NoMad carpet options.  At all times Tulsi has demonstrated a keen willingness to help and a great understanding of how to professionally purchase.

Tulsi was also instrumental in negotiating a new deal with Diptyque for the bath amenities at the Surrey. If not for Tulsi’s creativity and negotiating skills we would have had to move away from this great brand and potential partnership for a lower cost option.  We now have a product that costs less than the budget/target and is perfectly aligned with The Surrey brand!

Thank you Tulsi for all you do for us!

We would also like to recognize:
Dominik Gomez, Regional Director, Revenue Management  Dominik continues to step in and support hotels during times when we do not have a DORM in place as well as continuing with his other revenue duties. Dominik has stepped into Chicago and has dug into how we are set up in price positioning, looked at all our channels and made some positive changes which has yielded positive results.  

Dominik was also instrumental in getting all revenue budgets in new formats for sales goals purpose.  Dominik kept this process going and provided information as needed.

Dominik spends time each week and month to call out and give shout outs to hotels team based on STR results.  He looks for the positive and highlights those as well as offers areas of improvement so, this is Dominik’s time for a shout out!

And finally a big shout out to Carla Paul, Director Revenue Management who in addition to the Surrey oversaw the Nomad and very happy to do so.  

Introducing Denihan version 2.0!

Earlier this week Brooke, Patrick, Vera, Chrissy and John hosted meetings in both New York and Chicago to share the company’s new vision as well as the short and long term strategies. These meeting were very informative, filled with lots of energy and fun was had by all! If you were not able to attend one of these meetings, be sure to touch base with your manager to see how the information will be shared locally at your hotel.

May / June Corporate Shout Outs!!!

We would like to give a Big Shout Out to members of the Corporate Operations team, Chris Horn, Associate Director of Operations, and Chris Oltoff, Director of Operations, for their tireless efforts at ensuring the seamless transition of the Dumont,  supporting the transition of WeHo, and  the opening of the James NoMad while ensuring that the hotels and corporate teams get the support they need (e.g., implementing a property review agenda, managing leadership transitions, and addressing application issues).  Both are dedicated to constantly remaining flexible in addressing the needs of the business, enhancing our processes and strategically moving forward.  Thank you, Chris and Chris for giving your best always!

(Carl Cohen and Chris Olthoff)

(Chris Horn)

Another Big Shout Out goes to Leslie Wolf, Director of Brand Management, for going above and beyond in every way to support the James brand.  With Emily Shattan out on leave, Leslie stepped in to ensure that James Brand Programs were developed and completed.  Leslie has done an outstanding job and has been a true team player covering all the bases while Emily is out.  Thank you, Leslie, for going above and beyond.

(Leslie Wolf)

We would also like to recognize the following corporate associates:

  • Victor Infante, FIT Coordinator, for his continuous commitment to learning, growing and providing excellent customer service. Victor has worked hard to upsell and bring more revenue to Denihan.  He is always helpful and responds quickly to address any issues
  • Ryan Callahan, Controller, for being a pleasure to work with – he is incredibly helpful, patient and reliable, and
  • Susan Sondheim, Cheryl Franz, and Phil Daily for creating training experiences for James NoMad Managers and Team Members that instills the James Culture in the hotel.

THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!





Farewell to George Drepaul – 31 years

George Drepaul – 31 Years

It is with a grateful and sad heart that we bid farewell to George Drepaul.  After 31 years of service with Denihan, George will be moving on to a new chapter in his life once the Dumont NYC closes.  George has had the unique distinction of working at 6 of our hotels and being a GM at 4 of them in addition to serving a stint in Corporate HR.

George began his career with Denihan in April 1986 as a night auditor at a hotel we once owned and managed – Lyden House.  He quickly moved on to other operational positions in the front office at that hotel and the Gardens NYC.  For a period of time, he was AGM of our largest property, Manhattan NYC, where George would say he got his PhD in hotel operations!  His leadership, eye for detail and bottom line focus served him well during his GM tenure at the Eastgate Tower, Lyden House, Shelburne NYC and now Dumont NYC in its final stages as a hotel.

We could always count on George to have the best interest of the company in mind.  His loyalty, commitment and integrity are values this company was built on and lived by George every day.  We are much appreciative and grateful to him.  These values should be an inspiration to all of us.  It is what has allowed us to thrive as a family business for over 50 years.  It will continue to be the foundation for our success into the future.

For those of you who know George, you know that he is a private person and did not want the attention of a public farewell.  We respect that but also did not want to miss the opportunity to recognize him for all he has done for us and demonstrate the impact he has had on others.

Following are a few stories that people wanted to share about George.  We hope you will enjoy them.

In the meantime – thank you George from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done to make Denihan the company that it is today.

With Gratitude,

Brooke and Patrick


One of my favorite stories was when George was the Assistant GM at the Manhattan. The GM at the time, Mark Hurewitz, George, and I were discussing something. George got called out or beeped and he left the office. Mark and I were still meeting when George walked back in. He waited while we finished talking and then in his calm, normally quiet voice said, “The bank downstairs was just robbed.” Mark jumped up! George was very matter of fact in times of crisis. – Steve Alfieri

I remember a time years ago I went over to the Eastgate for a meeting and I found George in the Lobby handling an issue with the Fire Command Station. He was acting as FSD and Chief Engineer. I asked him what was going on and he nonchalantly detailed how he was correcting the issue. He had also just come from the boiler room where he had worked to get one of the boilers back up. George’s hands on style and mechanical ability is always inspiring. –  Brian Gehlich

One of the things that impressed me the most about George was the way he was with numbers. It was like having a human calculator as a GM. He might forget something about where items were or someone’s birthday but if we were 2 cents over or short he knew exactly where they were! – Belfor Gutierrez

George was my HR Screener in 2001 and sent me to The Dumont and The Shelburne to interview. I started at The Dumont and thank George for bringing me into Denihan.  George is a strong leader and a man with great family values. His contribution and commitment to the organization was something to be respected and admired. – Joe Rauer

I met George about 21 years ago when I started in the company. Since, I had the pleasure of working with him at the Manhattan, Shelburne, Dumont and even Human Resources when he had a brief role in Employment on 10th Avenue. I have so many memories and shared a lot of laughs with George, but if I really think about one memory that stands out, it was at the Southgate Tower (Manhattan NYC). I was about 17 years old and it was my first day working as an intern that summer. I was stationed at the Southgate Tower and George was the AGM. He invited me to attend the morning stand up meeting with the team. At the Southgate, there was a Bank located on the lower level entrance that was leased out. During stand up, the bank was robbed and the alarms went off. George immediately reacted and grabbed his suit jacket and ran to the lobby and bank. I remember thinking why would he grab his suit jacket to put on before running to the lobby in an emergency situation. Throughout the years working with George, I frequently think of this memory, and realized he grabbed his jacket because that is his level of Professionalism. Professionalism defines George and is a quality he carries that has influenced countless associates and team members throughout the years at Denihan. As an associate that met George 21 years ago, I can personally say he has influenced me and played a very significant role in my career with Denihan and I will truly miss working with him.  – Reginia Yorio

George to me was one of the best business partners that you could rely on to stand tall with you. – Eleanor Carter

In September, 1992, I had just graduated college with a degree in Hospitality Management and was heading to East 64th Street for my first real “interview”. I remember how nervous I was as I really didn’t know what to expect. I walked in to the Lyden Gardens Hotel a total wreck and approached the Front Desk requesting to speak to the Director of Front Office who I was scheduled to meet with to discuss a potential GSA position. I took a seat and was then approached by a smiling, friendly young man who introduced himself to me as George Drepaul. Little did I realize at the time how important this person would be to me throughout my career at Denihan. George did eventually hire me for that GSA position even though I am sure he saw how nervous and inexperienced I was in our interview. However, that nervousness faded once I started working at the Gardens as George put me at ease very quickly and he patiently showed me “the ropes”. I was only 21 at the time but recognized at that young age how lucky I was to work with such a generous, caring and professional Manager. George was a coach, mentor and sometimes “big brother” to me during our time working together and I sincerely appreciate all the guidance and support he has provided to me even after our time together at the Gardens. I wish George every success as he embarks on this new chapter in his career and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from such an amazing hospitality professional. – Jennifer Baldwin

Working with George has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me at Denihan.  He’s always been razor focused on results and driven by his passion for the hospitality business and the bottom line.  The best part:  George built collaborative teams which he always kept up-to-date on the latest celebrity news and current events! – Tim Devlin

It’s been a pleasure working with George over the last few years.  He is very passionate and a great person to work for.  He will be missed! – Anne Maire Lachmeyer

He is a great mentor, always encouraging and challenging me at the same time, since our tenure started back at The Eastgate.  I will miss how George would start RevMax with the latest celebrity gossip as an icebreaker.  I will cherish all the great memories we have. – Joyce Rosario

Shelburne Team Celebrates

Shelburne NYC team~ it takes a village to make it all happen and we’re very proud of ours!

We celebrated our amazing Coyle Shop score of 89.4% YAY!!!!! In addition we had a very successful start to our mattress delivery/change project.

Keep up the great work everyone!


February Shout Outs!

For our February Shout Out, we would like to recognize the following individuals for their quick response to the flood we had in our corporate offices on February 25. John Allen was the first to respond to a call from Ian, the IT on- call person, that our file server was down in the main office. John arrived Saturday evening to discover that there was a major flood coming from the 11th floor of the building into our offices including the IT server room and the Design and Construction space. He reached out to Muhamad Ahmad who arrived faster than a speeding bullet and activated the crisis protocols. A remediation company was immediately brought in to vacuum up the water from the carpet and wood floors and worked to remove the wet ceiling tiles and parts of the sheetrock. Since the cleanup, Muhamad has been instrumental in meeting with Denihan and the building’s insurance adjusters and received approval from the building to restore the spaces quickly by using our contractors. The Design and Construction area is almost complete and ready to be moved into momentarily.

Thank you Muhamad for your tireless leadership and drive to keep us functioning throughout all this with minimum disruption for all!

                    (John Allen)                                                                   (Muhamad Ahmad)

Earth Day Volunteers Needed – Hotel Association of NYC

 On Tuesday, April 18th will be an Earth Day celebration in Union Square and we are looking for volunteers to represent Denihan and lend their support at the Hotel Association of NYC booth! We are looking for a minimum commitment of 2 hours for this fun event. 

If you or your teams are interested in participating in the event or in donating items for the giveaway bags, please contact Dia Noor Qirreh at the Carlton,, or sign up via the scheduling link Earth Day Volunteer Sign-up.

*Earth Day New York is an educational, non-profit organization with the mission to promote environmental awareness and solutions through programs and events: Earth Day Union Square   * 

Thank you, in advance, for your time and consideration!

Congratulations to the new trainers!

On March 8th, we had 7 associates attend a full-day training session to become certified as hotel trainers. Taking on this exciting roles means that you will see these individuals being more active in hotel trainings such as Customer Service, Onboarding, Standard Operational Procedures (SOP’s), Compliance and of course any hotel specific training session. Please join me in recognizing the following associates on this outstanding achievement:

Angela Castro- Fifty NYC

Dana Hawks- The Benjamin

Elvira Kim- Gardens NYC

Carmel O’Connor- Fifty NYC

Kristina Perez- Shelburne NYC and The James NY

Joseline Stuart- Shelburne NYC

Gunita Suri- The Benjamin

Fond Farewell for Anne Meade after 42 Years of Service

The team wished Anne Meade a fond farewell and thank you last evening on the occasion of her retirement. The evening was filled with toasts, funny stories and fond memories. Anne first started with Denihan back in September 1974 at the Manhattan NYC, previously known as The Southgate. Back then roles were not as clearly defined so while her main job was in accounting she also worked in all areas of the hotel from front office to housekeeping. She worked there for 17 years before moving on to corporate. One of the highlights of her career was when she got to see the Pope as he drove by the hotel on his way to say mass at Madison Square Gardens .

Over the years she has mentored and helped grow many people to develop them in their own careers. Thank you Anne for your loyalty, leadership, encouragement and wonderful sense of humor. You will be missed!annes-retirement


August Shout Outs!!!

We would like to congratulate and thank our winner of the August Shout out – our very own Director of Corporate Facilities, Muhamad Ahmad! Muhamad has a very diverse workload.  Besides being responsible for overseeing our office and ensuring that the physical plants at the hotels run smoothly, he also offers his expertise in finding and mentoring our onsite Directors of Engineering. He has gained the trust and respect of our new partners at the Carlton through his dedication and hard work. He also heunknown-3ads up the facilities team that does a great job looking after the office. He ably covered for Henryk and Eileen during vacation season to ensure all associates received continued uninterrupted services.  Most recently he was responsible for upselling and closing on a lucrative Verizon lease at the Gardens NYC. Congratulations and thank you Muhamad for all you do for us.



(Muhamad with Declan)

We would also like to recognize several other associates for the month of August….

  • Congratulations to two of our very talented and high energy sales people, Gary Stram and Olin Otteson, who were able to obtain a new piece of business – the MTV Awards at Madison Square Gardens. This lead was uncovered by Gary as he was visiting entertainment clients in Mountain Top, PA. Olin then worked through the lengthy negotiations and ultimately closed the business for the Manhattan NYC. This business generated over 2,300 room nights in the month of August worth $500k in room revenue. This base of group business helped to achieve overall RevPAR growth at the Manhattan of 4.9% in the month of August. Thank you Gary and Olin – great team work.









(From left to right: Olin, Gary)

  • We would also like to recognize two very talented and very dedicated people in IT who have been with the company for a combinedtenure of 59 years!!! Pete Leftheris and Lloyd Tapper did an outstanding job in the month of August by taking on the monumental task of completing a detailed procurement log for the IT partner and ownership of The James West Hollywood. All equipment and systems were compiled and listed – from Bluetooth headsets to the property management system. All of the information was uploaded to The James West Hollywood SharePoint site for all to reference. This is a textbook example of great team work – taking on a difficult task, completing it on time and sharing the information. Thank you Lloyd and Pete.

                                                                                    (From left to right: Pete, Lloyd)

  • We would like to recognize Dominik Gomez our Regional Director of Revenue. In addition to maintaining his Regional role over the Affinia Collection, Benjamin, and Surrey, Dominik took on the added responsibility of Carlton and James New York during some transitions in staff. While overseeing the James New York we have seen an increase in booked revenue over previous weeks on The strategy that Dominik has instituted at the property and yield audit has allowed to increase in production and outpace OTA since implementation. Thank you Dominik.








  • Last but not least we would like to recognize our Corporate Senior Accountant, Amaris OlivoBrito. In addition to her duties as Corporate Senior Accountant handling the accounting for the Management Company, Amaris has enthusiastically taken on the additional responsibility of accounting for all of our very extensive and expensive capital projects. This is a true testament of commitment to collaborating across functional boundaries. She is doing a great job. Thank you Amaris.


A kind gesture goes a long way at Dumont NYC

” Nirzon, this man I did not know showed himself to be a true gentleman, a “caballero” (a man of noble character). Nirzon put his hand on my shoulder and without intrusion or trespass to privacy said that he did not know what was wrong but that it would all turn out alright.” -August LaBocco, Guest of Dumont NYC

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Best and Brightest Place to work at – The James Chicago

Chicago101BBWin15_4c_horzCongratulations to The James Chicago Team for being on this prestigious list for 8 years in a row!

The National Association of Business Relations is the sponsor of this award in the greater Chicago area. Organizations are assessed based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and more through surveys to the company and to team members. Thank you to everybody who participated and a big cheer to the team!


Yesterday we held our annual all associate event in our little known gem called Suite 2901. DJ Rob was spinning turntables and our fabulous management team and GM, were working hard on the grill. While our GM, Alex Spektor, and Director of Banquets, Franklyn Polonia competed for the “skirt-steak throw-down,” associates indulged in their well-deserved feast and danced away on the terrace! Raffle giveaways + good food + good company = ALL SMILES 🙂



Thank you to our awesome team for your hard work and commitment on a daily basis. Thank you to our management team for assisting in making this event a success. We hope everyone enjoyed the event and many more to come!


P.S.: We challenge Franklyn and Alex for another “BBQ Throw-down” simply because we all couldn’t get enough of both of your yummy steaks 🙂

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Accepted!

In the spirit of Awareness, the Dumont has engaged in some friendly competition for a good cause.  It all started when our Guest Experience Coordinator, Abraham Rodriguez, challenged both Stephanie Fernandez (Guest Service Agent) and Juber Rahman (Bell/Door) to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge in less than 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS.  After they accepted the challenge, they nominated our very own General Manager, Jennifer Baldwin, to complete the challenge.

Guess what…challenge accepted!!

Also, even one of our VIP guests, ex-Yankee Cecil Fielder, joined in as he was nominated as well and accepted the challenge on behalf of the Dumont.
David Sandler, Glenda Maldonado, Steve Sasso…will you step up to the plate?  24 hours to go

Endless Farewells’ To Our Dumont Superstar Frances Castro!

It is with sadness but overjoyed happiness to post the promotional celebrations that our Director of Housekeeping, Frances Castro, received from the Dumont Team as she moves on to the Affinia Manhattan.

Our housekeeping team took it upon themselves to plan and host a Potluck Lunch Celebration as their personal thanks for all the hard work and commitment Frances has put for her team.

Congratulations Frances, the best of luck on your next step up!!!

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Processed with Moldiv

Processed with Moldiv

Processed with Moldiv

Ozzing @ A50

Yesterday the entire management team at Affinia 50 took a stroll down The Yellow Brick Road and found themselves in The Land of Oz!

The training was facilitated by Jackie Violette (HR Director), Lupe Olmos-Galasso (Director of Rooms), Linda Mo (Director of Housekeeping) and Danielle Lim (Office Manager).

The team had the opportunity to learn The Oz Principle, to brainstorm ways to be personally accountable, and to finally learn what the heck the Executive Team means when we toss around the terms “above the line” and “below the line” in our meetings!



Dumont’s Quarterly Townhall Success!

On Tuesday, the Dumont hosted it’s first Townhall Meeting of the year with our new General Manager – Jennifer Baldwin. There was a lot of built up excitement and curiosity from our staff on all the new changes and faces at the hotel. In keeping with the new spirit at Corporate of the departments now sitting in pods based on the hotel, the staff was was graced with the presence of our new extended team. Our new Hotel Group Controller – Thomas Lyon, our new Director of Revenue Management – Barbara Brown, our new Marketing Manager – Timothy Devlin, and our new Director of Human Resources (and co-Townhall presenter) – Regina Yorio, all came by to personally meet the team. We all gathered and enjoyed each others company as we all learned of our future projects and prospects. We even held a surprise giveaway to two lucky team members, Carlos Santos winning a two night stay at the Liasion, and Shonda Colbourne winning a one night stay at the Affinia 50. And did I forget to mention the delicious breakfast we had…

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Denihan’s Commitment to giving back

Denihan’s commitment to hospitality extends not only to our hotel guests, but also to the surrounding neighborhoods and the community at large. As we grow as a company we recognize the importance of our social responsibility in both the local and global communities.

Each year, every hotel participates in various different forms of “giving back” with numerous charitable organizations, as does our corporate office. A few that we have been involved with are Operation Smile, Common Threads, The Hope Count, Good Shepherd, Common Ground, The Children’s Hospital, and many more.

Charity:Water an organization that provides clean safe reliable water sources to people has just notified us that our third well in Ethiopia has been completed. Because of the support we have given them, many people have been able to access clean drinking water – something many of us take for granted.


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In the spirit of this month’s value, Commitment, please share a story of your own or an example of how your team made a difference.

Special re-shoutout to Bibi Rasheed and Joyce Mangal for their continued support of Operation Smile.