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Awards of Distinction: Mary Kay Vrba Spirit Award

Date Published: September 27, 2021

Congratulations to Judy D'Alessandro, the first recipient of the Mary Kay Vrba Spirit Award!

Mary Kay Vrba Spirit Award Winner Judy Dalessandro

The Mary Kay Vrba Spirit Award honors an individual who embodies the qualities Mary Kay Vrba, past President & CEO of Dutchess Tourism, represents including selflessness, service, inclusiveness and leadership. Join Dutchess Tourism in celebrating all the honorees at the 8th annual Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction on Thursday, November 4, 2021, at Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie. Read more about the event here.

We chatted with Judy D'Alessandro, Area Director of Sales of the Hyatt House Fishkill, to learn more about her.

What about your business inspires you?

I am inspired every day by the guests that travel with us, their diversity and ever infectious love for the Hudson Valley is what’s truly exciting. I am also inspired by being able to introduce people from all over the country and the world to the best place in NY, the Hudson Valley.

What has this past year dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic taught you about the resiliency of your business and staff?

I learned that we are stronger working together as a team!  We have an amazing group of employees at the Hyatt House Fishkill; we lean on one another and lift each other up when needed. The attitude we display is contagious and we all have each other’s back, both professionally and personally.  It's an amazing team to be a part of and together we really make the guest experience unforgettable.

What are your hopes for the future of travel in Dutchess County?

With all that the future holds for Dutchess County at this time, and what we are developing will only entice travelers to visit us more. My hopes are that all businesses come back stronger than ever. Marketing Dutchess County as NYC’s backyard is brilliant, after all, that is exactly what we are. 

What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career?

The COVID-19 pandemic taught my team and I to get back to basics. But mostly it taught me that your mental health is just as important as your physical well-being.

What advice would you give to someone entering or interested in the tourism industry?

Be resilient and willing to change with your environment. Ups and downs are normal, the ups will exponentially outweigh the downs and the connections you create will last the duration of your career.

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