On Thursday, April 21, the Kelowna Hotel Motel Association held its 2021 Heart of Hospitality Awards virtually. The awards were started in 2017 as a way to recognize industry professionals who "have gone above and beyond to provide exceptional experiences to Kelowna and area visitors." 

Tourism Kelowna was proud to present the "Spirit of Kelowna" award to this year's winner, Bobby Bissessar, Director of Sales & Marketing at The Cove Lakeside Resort. The "Spirit of Kelowna" award is presented to an individual who demonstrates the spirit of Kelowna's brand promise and the destination ambassador values of collaboration, excellence, pride, innovation, and integrity.

Bobby Bissessar Heart of Hospitality Award
Bobby Bissessar, left, with The Cove Lakeside Resort General Manager, Brent Lavery

Bobby is extremely involved not only in the tourism community but in the community at large and was recently recognized as an honouree in this year's Top 40 Under 40, presented by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and BDO. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Kelowna Pride Society, having recently been re-elected to the Board, and is also a Member of Influence with the Okanagan Young Professionals Collective, a Director and Committee Member with the Greater Westside Board of Trade, and a member of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Westside Wine Trail, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, Meeting Professionals International, and American Marketing Association.

Here are a few excerpts from Bobby's nomination forms:

"Look no further than Bobby Bissessar as the ultimate ambassador for the Tourism Kelowna Spirit Award. Bobby relocated from Vancouver to the Okanagan in 2019 and has been a tireless supporter of tourism in the Okanagan Valley and serial volunteer on many community organizations."

"Bobby is committed to making Kelowna a better and stronger community.”

“Bobby thinks and acts with a destination-first approach and is well versed in new and up-and-coming marketing and sales strategies. Bobby actively looks for new, exciting, and creative ways to connect and solve problems and create opportunities. Even if it hasn’t been done before, Bobby is already thinking about ways to make something happen.”

Two other awards were handed out during the ceremony. Chance Boruck from Four Points by Sheraton Kelowna Airport, which is part of the Argus Hospitality Group, was presented with the "Service Superstar" award while Mac Shelby from Hotel Zed Kelowna was the recipient of the "Heart & Soul" award.

Tourism Kelowna would like to congratulate all the award nominees and winners—thank you for your purposeful work, for engaging with visitors and locals alike in an authentic and welcoming manner, and for representing the destination with pride during another challenging year. Our local tourism industry and our community would not be the same without your dedication to providing exceptional service.