AHLEI Honors Navy Lodges for Commitment to Professional Development and Certification


The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) recently honored two Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) Navy Lodge properties with awards recognizing their commitment to supporting their employees and guests by providing access to continuing education, training, and professional certification, using AHLEI’s resources as part of a property-wide development program.

Navy Lodge Bethesda, under the leadership of general manager Ana Herrera-Ruiz, received the Military Hospitality Training Excellence Gold Award. To earn this award, a property must show an increase in guest satisfaction and meet training benchmarks for employee participation in AHLEI’s distance learning courses, training programs, and professional certification completions. These include Guest Service Gold® and the Certified Guest Service Professional, and line-level designations including the Certified Front Desk Representative, Certified Guestroom Attendant, Certified Maintenance Employee, and Certified Hotel Concierge designations.

Navy Lodge Guantanamo Bay, under the leadership of general manager Joycelyn Connage-Johnson, received the Military Hospitality Training Excellence Meritorious Award. To achieve this highest AHLEI distinction, a property must have demonstrated exemplary achievement in training, education, and certification leading to improved guest satisfaction, and be a previous Gold award winner.

The awards, given for achievement by the properties during the previous year, were presented May 18 at a ceremony during the Navy Lodge Program’s annual worldwide Training and Strategy Workshop, held this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The awards were presented by Robert J. Bianchi, Rear Admiral, SC, USN (Ret.), chief executive officer, NEXCOM.

image006Left, Robert J. Bianchi, CEO, NEXCOM, presents the Military Hospitality Training Excellence Gold Award to Ana Herrera-Ruiz, general manager, and Nicole Nnoke, assistant general manager, Navy Lodge Bethesda. Right, Bianchi presents the Military Hospitality Training Excellence Meritorious Award to Joycelyn Connage-Johnson, general manager of Navy Lodge Guantanamo Bay.

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI)

Established in 1953 as the nonprofit education and training arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), AHLEI’s mission is to be the preferred provider of quality resources to educate, develop, and certify hospitality students and professionals worldwide. AHLEI became part of the National Restaurant Association in 2017, connecting and leveraging the resources of two organizations that are deeply committed to a vision of career success and upward mobility for current and future hospitality, restaurant and foodservice employees.