Posted on April 08, 2022

Monterey County Hospitality Association Honors Hospitality Professionals of the Year At Annual Event

Annual Awards Gala, April 8, 2022 - Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

(Monterey, CA) – The Monterey County Hospitality Association (MCHA) will honor two Hospitality Professionals of the Year on Friday, April 8th at their Annual Awards Gala, Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. The 2020 award will be presented to Teddy Balestreri, Executive Vice President of Hospitality Operations and Community Relations, Cannery Row Company, followed by the 2021 recipient John C. Turner, General Manager, InterContinental The Clement Monterey. Both individuals are recognized for on-going service and commitment to the local Hospitality industry.

Balestreri’s wide-ranging career in the hospitality industry has included roles in foodservice operations, hotel and restaurant management and manufacturing of kitchen products. Balestreri served as Chairman of the California Restaurant Association throughout the pandemic, advocating for California’s restaurants and workforce.

“Teddy has always shined under adversity, especially the last couple of years during the COVID-19 crisis,” notes Ted Balestreri, Chairman & CEO Cannery Row Company, Teddy's father and first recipient of the MCHA Hospitality Professional of the Year Award in 1983. “He has taken a leadership role not only within the Cannery Row Company and the local hospitality community, but also statewide with the California Restaurant Association, and now nationally with the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors. Teddy’s keen sense and personality has always made him a perfect fit for the hospitality industry, an industry he seems to love. I am very proud of him.”

Today, Balestreri serves as Executive Vice President of Hospitality Operations and Community Relations, overseeing a diverse mix of properties, including The Inns of Monterey, a collection of boutique hotels, The Sardine Factory and Esteban restaurants, and foodservice-based retail. When he’s not working he continues to serve his community on the Board of Directors for The National Restaurant Association, the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, Montage Health Foundation, and The Foundation of Cal State University, Monterey Bay.

The 2021 Hospitality of the Year recipient, John C. Turner, relocated to the Monterey Peninsula in 1993 as Executive Assistant Manager of the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. He later moved to San Francisco and worked for Kimpton Hotels as General Manager, before returning again to the Peninsula to continue his role as General Manager for Intercontinental The Clement Hotel on Cannery Row. Under his leadership, the hotel has become one of the busiest hotels in Monterey, and the recipient of four IHG Quality Excellence Awards and three Torchbearer Awards.

“John has been a supporter of our industry since his return to the Peninsula,” comments John Narigi, President and General Manager, WeatherTech Raceway. “He has been instrumental in aligning the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) and MCHA to work together on common issues to protect and market this destination, at both the board and committee level. He also continues to support the interest of MCHA as we work to include all of Monterey County in our efforts to become more unified."

Turner is extremely involved in various local industry associations, in many different leadership capacities, including: Chairman for MCHA, MCCVB and the Monterey Conference Center Advisory Board as well as the Tourism Improvement District Committee for Monterey. He has been active for a number of years with California State University Monterey Bay and its Hospitality Department. Turner served enthusiastically as a board member of the National Steinbeck Center, giving voice to the important literary tradition connecting Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula communities of Carmel, Pacific Grove and Monterey.