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Peabody Groundskeeper Named AHLA's "Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year"

Memphis, TN (April 14, 2015) - The Peabody Memphis is proud to announce that longtime Grounds Attendant Willie Parker has won the American Hotel & Lodging Association's 2015 "Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year. Parker will be the first person from Memphis to win this award in the Large Property Category since 2005.

The Peabody will hold a surprise red carpet reception on Tuesday evening to welcome Mr. Parker back from Washington, DC, where he accepted the award in person at the 50th Annual AHLA Start of the Industry Awards today. He will receive a proclamation from the City of Memphis Mayor's Office in honor of his accomplishments.

Hearing impaired and mute since birth, Parker joined The Peabody in 1986 via a government-funded job readiness program for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities called SRVS. After the program's funding was exhausted, The Peabody offered Parker a full-time position as Grounds Attendant within the Engineering Department. "Willie is enthusiastic, dedicated, and friendly. It's not unusual to see him around the grounds making sure that The Peabody's grand exterior is in tip-top shape and smiling and greeting guests. He is widely admired by our Associates and guests alike for his work ethic and determination in taking care of this hotel," said Douglas V. Browne, General Manager, The Peabody Memphis and President, Peabody Hotels & Resorts.

Willie Parker won the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association's "Maintenance Worker of the Year" award in 2014, advancing him to eligibility at a national level with AHLA. 


Surprise Red Carpet Reception for Willie Parker upon return from Washington DC, after receiving "Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year" Award from American Hotel & Lodging Association. 

Peabody Associates along with Memphis political and tourism industry leaders will line the red carpet to cheer for Parker. The red carpet arrival will be followed by a party in the Skyway Ballroom during which The Peabody will play a 3-minute video highlighting Parker's accomplishments and present him with a proclamation from the City of Memphis Mayor's Office.


Tuesday, April 14

5:45PM (time is approximate, based on arrival of flight from DC)


The Peabody Front Drive (valet parking entrance) Followed by party in Skyway Ballroom for presentation, including video and proclamation


Willie Parker, Grounds Attendant, The Peabody Memphis Douglas Browne, General Manager, The Peabody Memphis & President, Peabody Hotels & Resorts Lisa McNutt, Director of Human Resources The Peabody Memphis

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