Tampa Bay is filled with people who make it their job to help visitors have a good time and make great memories during their stay here. Some of them work in the spotlight, having daily interactions with visitors. Others work behind the scenes, making sure you experience the best visit you can. Either way, take a moment and thank them for their efforts. They're doing it for you.
Breakfast hostess at the Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa North
When guests at Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa North wake up in the morning, Pamela Calhoun is waiting to welcome them to breakfast. The New York native make sure her visitors start their day with a pleasant experience during what can be a trying time (many are undergoing treatment at nearby Moffitt Cancer Center). Her dedication to her guests earned Pamela the Hilton CEO Light & Warmth Award. She was one of 12 people to receive it.
Where are you from? Queens, New York City
What brought you to Tampa Bay? I moved from New York two months after 9/11. I needed a change, and my family was here. So I came here.
What do you like about living in Tampa Bay? What I love about Tampa Bay is the beaches, restaurants, and the weather.
What do your children do? Nicole lives in New York and works for Jet Blue, and Steadman lives in LA and works in accounting.
Who’s your hero and why? My parents. They taught me the values I have today and I am what I am today because of them.
What do you do for fun or hobby? Going to the movies, the beach, or Disney.
Tell me about your job. My job is coming to work to get the food ready for our guests and knowing they will enjoy it and start their day great! I get to interact with all of our guests and talk about their stay and trip to our area.
What do you like about about your job? I love my job because you get to meet returning guests and new guests. I get to learn where they came from and what brings them to our area.
Tell me about a guest that stick out in your mind – what was their story? I have two. I had a guest named Lavern who was fighting cancer for 17 years at Moffitt Cancer Center. She passed away last year. The other is Eliot. He’s a young child that came here when his mom had a job here. He lived here with his parents for a few months, and we bonded. He now comes to visit me each year. We are in touch throughout the year and his parents bring him on a "visit Ms. Pam" visit each year.
What’s the hardest part of the job? The hardest part of my job is getting connected with guests and then having them leave, whether it be from a job change that they no longer come to our area, or they have passed away. (A lot of our guests are Moffitt patients.)
What’s something people don’t know about your job? Most people think I’m here just provide them food, but I’m really here to welcome them to my kitchen. I treat the lobby/breakfast area as my kitchen and my job is all about hospitality, versus just serving food.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you on the job? One time I was mixing waffle batter and put the lid on it to go finish something else. When I came back and took the lid off, it exploded and went all over the kitchen, my face, and my entire body…still to this day, my co-workers and I laugh about that.
You recently won the CEO Light & Warmth Award for your outstanding service to your guests -- one of 12 out of nearly 1,000 team members across the company to receive the honor. What does it mean to win such a prestigious award for your work at Hampton Inn? Let me tell you what a huge honor, I’ve been on Cloud Nine! I never in my life expected the CEO Light & Warmth award…I am still in shock!
How would your life be different without tourism? Boring! Not only do I love to travel, but I love telling people about what Tampa Bay has to offer, when they travel here.
What do you recommend your visitors do for fun when they come to Tampa Bay? I always recommend Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay, Adventure Island, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Ybor City, Clearwater Beach, Fort de Soto.