University of Delaware
'Houseperson of the Year' Donald Steele Jr. with Bill Sullivan (left), managing director of the Courtyard Newark, and Perry Patel (right), chairman of the Delaware Hotel and Lodging Association.

Top honor

Courtyard associate named 'Houseperson of the Year'


4:24 p.m., Feb. 8, 2013--Donald Steele Jr., an associate at the Courtyard Newark at the University of Delaware, was honored as the “Houseperson of the Year” at the Delaware Hotel and Lodging Association annual STARS of the Industry dinner, held at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington. 

Steele, who was nominated by hotel peers, joined the hotel in 2006 as a training intern from the Delaware School for the Deaf, where he lived from the age of 3. He rapidly grasped the training and was hired as a full-time employee. Hotel staff worked closely with the faculty and coaches from the Delaware School for the Deaf with Steele and several other associates who have hearing disabilities. 

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The nomination for him read, in part, "He will do anything asked of him and has an energy level and determination that is the envy of us all. He has enriched the lives of our guests, staff and the student interns that we have at our hotel and has provided special training for them in the American Sign Language."

Tracy Holmes, hotel director of operations, said, “Donald is an amazing young man who has become a valued member of the hotel team. His energy and dedication to the hotel is excellent, and he has helped all of us appreciate his determination to be a valued associate.”

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