Guam – The four young ladies from Okkodo High School who represented Guam at the 9th annual American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute National Lodging Management Program (LMP) Competition in Orlando, Florida last weekend did the island proud again this year.
Although they did not repeat as national champions, they came in a close second. Raquel Maminta, Iris Lapid, Ranalyn Sison and Amee Fejeran placed first in the Hospitality Project, second in the Hotel Operations events, and fourth in the Knowledge Bowl, putting them in second place overall in the competition. They were edged out of a championship repeat by the team from Monroe Career & Technical Institute in Pennsylvania. In third place was Waipahu High School of Hawaii. Only twelve teams compete at the national level of this competition.
“The competition was really intense,” said team captain Maminta. “Everyone was really prepared. We found out that it was easier getting the championship than to defend it.”
“We almost got the repeat. But coming second place in the national competition is not bad at all,” said Norman Aguilar, GCC Tourism & Hospitality Department chair.
Acknowledging that the pressure on the team to defend their championship was tremendous, instructor Evon Wong says the young ladies handled it well. “Their creativity and flexibility in dealing with the challenges of the competition was outstanding. I’m very proud of them,” Wong said.
[Second at nationals: Okkodo High Schools’ Lodging Management Program team and their instructor, left to right: Irish Lapid, Raquel Maminta (team captain), Evon Wong (GCC CTE instructor at Okkodo), Ranalyn Sison, and Amee Fejeran, proudly display their medals won during the 9th Annual American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute National Lodging Management Program (LMP) Competition in Orlando, Florida.]
The first day of competition took place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort on March 29. The following day, the competition moved to the Rosen College of Hospitality. Organized by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation, the competition challenges participants with events based on real-world job scenarios, and provides opportunities for students and instructors alike to network with representatives from colleges, hotels, and hospitality associations.
This is the third trip to nationals for a team from Okkodo. In 2009, Okkodo placed third in one of three sections of the national competition, and in 2011, they were the national champions.
LMP is a national educational program for high school juniors and seniors. Topics covered in the program include lodging management, front office and housekeeping management, leadership skills, marketing and sales, and food and beverage service. Through internships arranged as part of their LMP class, students can explore the variety of job opportunities open to them in the hotel industry.
For more information on the national competition, please log click on the link: http://www.ahlei.org/lmpcompetition/