Josh Brown beams over his Vancouver Island Tourism Employee of the Year award overlooking the spectacular view from Black Rock Oceanfront Resort’s lounge on April 23. (Andrew Bailey photo)

Josh Brown beams over his Vancouver Island Tourism Employee of the Year award overlooking the spectacular view from Black Rock Oceanfront Resort’s lounge on April 23. (Andrew Bailey photo)

Ucluelet hospitality champion honoured

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort’s Josh Brown named Employee of the Year at Island Tourism Conference

Ucluelet has a hospitality champion to celebrate.

Josh Brown of Black Rock Oceanfront Resort was named Employee of the Year at the Vancouver Island Tourism Conference Industry Awards on April 13.

The award is given to a front-line tourism employee who has delivered “exemplary work performance” and is “seen as a key contributor to team success,” read a media release announcing the winners.

“The tourism and hospitality businesses and employees in the Vancouver Island region have shown incredible resilience through the pandemic,” said President and CEO of 4VI—formerly Tourism Vancouver Island—Anthony Everett. “They are all deserving of an award and I wish we could recognize each and every one by name. The Vancouver Island Tourism Conference was an opportunity to come together as an industry in person and celebrate this resilience, dedication and innovation.”

Brown is currently in his 11th year at Black Rock and was touted for the positive vibes he brings to work each day.

“He is truly a ‘Josh of all trades’” the announcement reads. “He is the champion of the Green Team, working hard to implement an improved recycling process. Because of his fun-loving, laid-back nature, the team was quickly on board and ensured he had support for the program. He truly wants guests to have a memorable experience at the resort and is someone the team knows they can count on.”

Award winners were announced at a gala held at Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Brown told the Westerly News he was thrilled to hear his name called while watching the event via livestream.

“I was ecstatic. I ran around the kitchen a couple times with a couple of fist pumps,” he said. “It was icing on the cake for coming to work everyday and grinding it out…It gives me another burst of energy to continue in hospitality. It’s a sign that I’m in the right place in my career.”

Brown added that the hospitality industry continues fighting its way through the coronavirus pandemic thanks to the hard work and dedication shown by the sector.

“The people that stuck it out are the people that helped keep us alive and figure out ways to make revenue when it was harder than ever,” he said. “It took a team effort to keep things going.”

Brown’s Black Rock career began in the summer of 2010 when he arrived in Ucluelet to visit his parents who had recently moved to the community to retire and he quickly fell in love with the peaceful surroundings compared to the city life he was living as a journalism student in Ontario.

He has since met his wife Nicole and the couple has welcomed three children.

“I just made it my home and haven’t left since,” he said, adding he began at Black Rock as a

houseperson and worked his way up the ranks to laundry attendant, laundry supervisor, housekeeping supervisor, housekeeping assistant manager and then to his current role as manager on duty.

He said he enjoys meeting people from around the world as colleagues and guests and helping Black Rock shine as “the total package,” delivering memorable experiences and making the resort a “home away from home” with a “mellow vibe.”

“The better the experience the more times they’ll come back and they’ll recommend this community to other people,” he explained

This was Brown’s first hospitality award and Brown thanked his colleagues for helping him achieve it.

“This award wouldn’t be possible without the people I work with everyday and go to battle with,” he said. “They’re the people that help me get to where I’m at.”

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