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Marriott’s Top 10 Best Breakfast Servers Include Marco Island Marriott Employee

A Marco Island hotel employee has received an honor that only a few ever will.

Marriott International this month recognized Dolly Punwasi and nine other employees amongst greater than 600,000 employees at the corporate’s 31 worldwide brands that features 8,500 hotels in 138 countries.

The Naples woman, a breakfast server at J.W. Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort’s Maia restaurant, is Marriott’s only Florida worker to receive the rare honor in 2023. The ten employees represent lower than 1 percent ― or roughly 0.000017 percent of the corporate’s total workforce.

One in 600,000: Dolly Punwasi accepting her J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence.

“I’m so honored to get this award. I feel so blessed,” Punwasi told the Each day News.

What’s the Marriott International award?

Yearly since 1987, Marriott International―whose 31 worldwide brands encompass all the pieces from The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis to Courtyard and 4 Points―recognizes 10 employees for its annual J. Willard Marriott Awards of Excellence, an honor based on achievement, character, dedication, effort, and perseverance.

Punwasi grew up in Guyana and in 1999 moved to Naples, where she and her husband raised three children.

Award-winning server Dolly Punwasi is being honored by Marriott International for her work excellence.

She attended an awards ceremony on October sixteenth in Washington, D.C., as a part of an all-expenses-paid trip, to receive her award and meet the opposite nine recipients. They work at Marriott properties in Nashville, Phoenix, Chicago, Poland, Mexico, China, Fiji, and Alexandria, Virginia.

Starting because the hotel’s coffee shop, Punwasi has worked on the Marco icon since 2012 through myriad positions and challenges, including a renovation, two hurricanes (Irma in 2017 and Ian in 2022), and the pandemic.

“But we got through it,” she said.

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How did Dolly Punwasi discover she won?

In July, the resort’s senior management called a rare all-staff meeting and arrange a television. She initially wondered if perhaps someone was in trouble.

Inside Maia's dining room at JW Marriott Marco Island.

As a substitute, corporate HQ announced Dolly as one among the ten winners.

“I didn’t realize how huge that is until a friend who works at The Ritz-Carlton heard about it and asked me?” Punwasi said.

In a media statement, company President and CEO Anthony Capuano said, “The award winners represent the most effective of the most effective of our company. All of us at Marriott are inspired by the difference they’re making not only within the workplace but of their communities.”

The very best a part of Dolly’s working day at her “home away from home” is seeing her colleagues very first thing within the morning. She considers them family, noting how their support allows her to excel.

“I couldn’t have won the award without the assistance of my co-workers,” she said. “We handle and help one another.”

Punwasi also attributes her success to being fully committed to her job the second she’s on the property.

“She is an incredible human being. It’s a pleasure and an honor to work alongside her,” said Vernell Symonette, the restaurant’s general manager.


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