SAN JOSE, CALIF.—Dan McGowan, General Manager, Fairmont San Jose announced that Jackie Dacanay, Director of Talent & Culture, has been named California Hotel & Lodging Association’s Women in Lodging Connect Leader of the Year.
This award is bestowed upon a female hospitality professional who serves as a leader and role model within the hotel community. This award is not about the amount of experience or the title, but rather how time is spent in the industry. California Hotel & Lodging Association’s (CHLA’s) Stars of the Industry Awards honor the lodging employees and properties that best symbolize the quality service of the industry.
Ten years ago Dacany joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts as a Coordinator in the Human Resources department. In a short period of time she established herself as a resource to her department, her property and her community. She has successfully delivered excellence in all of her engagements; implementing a safety culture that has led to decreased accidents and reduced workers’ compensation costs. She is also actively engaged with various community organizations and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for several philanthropies.
She has established relationships with multiple community organizations and institutions focused on supporting youth. She established the first hospitality partnership with Generation, a nonprofit founded by McKinsey to tackle global youth unemployment. Generation offers rapid training for high-demand professions, social-support services, and guaranteed interviews with employers across 20 professions.
Primed & Prepped Culinary Arts Program
Dacany was part of the Human Resources team that implemented the YMCA Primed & Prepped Culinary Arts Program. Primed & Prepped provides students with the tools to mitigate employment barriers and hone their leadership skills. Focused on hospitality management and culinary arts, the program is designed to support youth of color, ages 14 to 19, to develop culinary skills and be placed in internships and jobs.
In addition to the Primed and Primed program, she participated in the successful implementation of the Equality and Inclusion in Hospitality Program partnership with Local 2 UNITE Here Union. The purpose of this initiative is to increase the awareness of culinary jobs in union hotels and restaurants in underrepresented communities, and to create opportunities for EIHI’s Hospitality Initiative participants to intern under qualified cooks/chefs while developing culinary skills. Her efforts have made and continue to make a tremendous, positive difference in hundreds of underprivileged lives, while raising awareness about equality and inclusion in the hospitality industry.
Dacanay has also created partnerships with various educational institutions including Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School, Santa Teresa High School, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, and Cal State East Bay. These strategic alliances help mold the future leaders of our industry. Students are exposed to practice interviews, resume workshops, as well as paid internship work opportunities in various departments. Many of these interns have gone on to complete their schooling.
Dacanay is an integral member of Accor’s RiiSE committee, an organization that aims to combat stereotypes and help the company reach gender equality objectives. At Fairmont San Jose, she has leveraged this initiative to provide a platform for further exposure and development of female leaders.