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Community Footprints Recognized With Points Of Light "Corporate Engagement Award Of Excellence"

CHEVY CHASE, Md., June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- At a ceremony today at the Points of Light annual conference on Volunteering and Service, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. was honored with the 2013 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence for its outstanding employee volunteer program, Community Footprints. Joining fellow honoree, HP, The Ritz-Carlton received the award in recognition of Community Footprints unique design and exceptional results which are engaging and inspiring volunteers and improving the communities where Ritz-Carlton hotels, clubs and residences are located.

The Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence is determined by an independent panel of judges whom evaluated nominees this year, the 20 th anniversary of the award, on a new set of criteria: a clear plan, a method of measuring accomplishments, a solid design, strong leadership, community collaboration, a system to engage employees and an openness to learn from what worked and what didn't.

"These leaders in employee volunteerism show the possibilities for engaging the workforce in improving communities," said Michelle Nunn, Points of Light's CEO. "We celebrate companies that incorporate their employee volunteer programs into the way they do business, with the ultimate goal of making social progress."

The Ritz-Carlton Community Footprints program applies its guiding principles – engage, contribute and inspire – to improve the lives of children, protect the environment and help alleviate hunger and poverty. The holistic program is embedded in The Ritz-Carlton service culture, encouraging employees – referred to as Ladies and Gentlemen – to use their skills and talents to support their communities.

"Community Footprints provides an outstanding platform to inspire our employees worldwide to help address issues in their own community through skills-based volunteering," says Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer. "I am very proud of the positive impact our Ladies and Gentlemen are making."

One example of the Community Footprints skills-based volunteering approach is the Succeed Through Service program through which all 81 hotels, as well as The Ritz-Carlton residences and destination clubs, are partnering with local schools and youth organizations. Working closely with children facing economic, social or personal challenges, over the past four years The Ritz-Carlton has supported over 12,000 young students around the world.  Many of the children who participate in Succeed Through Service don't have access to positive role models and don't feel connected to their communities. "We are committed to enhancing the lives, well-being and career prospects for young people in communities in which we operate and Succeed Through Service enables us to deliver on that promise," says Sue Stephenson, vice president, community footprints. "As the name suggests, Succeed Through Service is all about helping young people thrive and inspiring them do their best."

The multi-faceted Community Footprints strategy is integrated into The Ritz-Carlton Service Values; embedded into the company's business planning process; and cascaded to all hotels, clubs and residences worldwide to ensure the program's sustainability and maximize positive impact. This long-term philosophy has served The Ritz-Carlton well since 1983, when the first mission statement was inked, vowing that all Ritz-Carlton properties would be "positive, supportive members of their communities and sensitive to the environment."

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