Hawks Cay Managing Director Sheldon Suga, center, accepts the Hotelier of the Year award from FLRA president and CEO Carol Dover, left, and FLRA board chair Olivia Hoblit. CONTRIBUTED.

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) recently recognized the commitment and service of Hawks Cay VP Managing Director Sheldon Suga during its annual Stars of the Industry Gala at the Caribe Royal Resort in Orlando. During the ceremony, Suga was inducted into the FRLA Hall of Fame as Hotelier of the Year.  

“There is no one more deserving of the recognition of Hotelier of the Year than Sheldon Suga,”  said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “He has devoted more than 40 years to the hospitality industry and is known for his passion, integrity and commitment to excellence. Sheldon has made such positive and lasting impacts, and we are proud to name him into the FRLA Hall of Fame.”

The Hospitality Stars of the Industry Gala pays tribute to men and women from across the  Sunshine State for their remarkable work in hospitality. The Hall of Fame distinction is reserved  for those who have dedicated decades to providing excellent service and leadership in  hospitality. 

“I’m honored to be inducted into the FRLA Hall of Fame as the 2022 Hotelier of the Year,” said  Suga. “To join my deserving peers in this recognition means so much to me and my family, and I want to thank my entire team at Hawks Cay for their hard work each and every day and their commitment to excellence. I look forward to continuing our great work to keep our resort and Florida’s hospitality industry the best in the world.” 

Suga began his career as a room clerk in Niagara Falls Canada for summer employment, which  led him to pursue a degree in Hospitality Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. Upon  graduation, Sheldon was accepted into ITT Sheraton’s General Management Training program.  During his time with ITT Sheraton, he attained the ITT Ring of Quality Worldwide Team Award  and served as general manager at properties in West Harford, New York City, Halifax, La Jolla  and Los Angeles. He also worked in Tokyo and was Country Manager for ITT Sheraton. He also  worked for Wyndham hotels and resorts as an area director in Atlanta and Puerto Rico. He  worked in Orlando at the Gaylord Palms as the VP Hotel Manager and was the SVP and  General Manager of the Gaylord National Resort. Suga currently serves as a past chair of the  FRLA State Executive Committee, a member of the District III Advisory Committee of the  Monroe County TDC and a board member of Visit Florida. Additionally, he is on the board of trustees for the College of the Florida Keys. He previously served on the board of Tourism  Halifax, Maryland Hotel and Motel Association and on the Maryland Tourism Development  Council. An avid fly fisherman and runner, Sheldon and his wife Laura have lived in the Florida  Keys for more than 13 years.

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