Jamaica Gleaner / WESTERN BUREAU:
It was an emotional roller-coaster for employees at Riu Jamaica Palace last Thursday night as co-workers of Angella Bennett came to accept that she would be leaving them.
Bennett’s send-off party was attended by her colleagues and a few close friends. After 13 years with the first Spanish hotel to build a room on Jamaican soil, she is moving on.
Bennett’s successor, Niurka Garcia-Linton cried her eyes out; her meetings and incentive manager, Michelle Reid, cried uncontrollably and Christina Dunbar one of her four ‘parries’ on the job, worked hard at keeping spirits high.
Bennett was described as a champion. “She lives by example. She sets standards and raises the bar,” said Charmaine Tyndale, groups and event manager at Club Hotel RIU Ocho Rios.
Tyndale, in her tribute, described Bennett as an excellent leader who empowers others and gives her staff the chance to shine and grow. “She is graceful and works under pressure. She is a very calm, cool and collected person on the surface; you will never know what battles she faces beneath.”
Sad to see her go, those in attendance also saluted Bennett for making a bold move, by charting new waters. The former RIU director of sales, who managed the portfolio of five hotels on the island, joins the Melia group in August.
For now, Bennett has gone off on a long-needed vacation.