College of Business and Innovation

COBI sales and marketing grad wins prestigious Ritz-Carlton Employee of the Year award

Julianne Kujawa

June will mark just two years since Julianne Kujawa graduated from COBI and started her career at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland as Corporate Catering Sales and Events Coordinator. But that hasn’t stopped her from already receiving one of that company’s highest honors, the Five Star Employee of the Year Award.

“The Five Star Employee of the Year Award is an award that is presented to a lady or gentlemen that demonstrates dedication and commitment to The Gold Standards and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company through interaction with colleagues and guests,” Kujawa said.  “It represents going above and beyond normal duties and getting involved to create an enjoyable work environment while enlivening the service values each and every day.

"I first had to win a quarterly nomination which I did in June, Five Star Employee of Quarter 2, in order to be nominated for Five Star of the Year. Along with the recognition, I was presented with an award and a Five Star Trip. This trip includes two round trip airfare tickets, a five night stay at any Unites States Ritz-Carlton property and spending cash for the trip. I am EXTREMELY excited with the timing of the award: I am recently engaged to the most wonderful man, Tim Urbancic, who I met at the University of Akron and we will be using the trip to travel to Key Biscayne for our honeymoon this year in November.

“My position at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland is Corporate Catering Sales and Events Coordinator. I started on June 17, 2014. I have a large variety of responsibilities,” she explained. “Overall, I am responsible for turning and overseeing an event/meeting over from the sales phase to the event management phase.  This includes preparing sales-related documents throughout the sales process, such as proposals, contracts and cost estimates. I solicit prospective clients to maximize revenue, and participate in company initiatives such as Global Customer Appreciation Week to maintain, express gratitude and solicit current loyal clients. I am also the sales manager for any pop-up meetings or events that are 14 days out from the current day. I will personally handle the entire sales phase, plan the event/meeting through creating the banquet event order, setup the billing and service the meeting/event (being the point of contact day of). I am also involved in Employee Council to which I was selected with other members from various departments to represent the hotel on behalf of all employed at our hotel. We meet monthly to plan many ventures such as our Community Footprints, Welcome to Work Days and to discuss opportunities on ways we can create growth in employee engagement throughout the hotel. “

“I have many awesome parts of my job that I could go on and on about because I truly do believe I work for one of the best companies out there. The absolute best part of my job is the fact that I work for a company that genuinely appreciates their employees. At The Ritz-Carlton, we not only have a credo on what we promise to do for our consumers but we also have an employee promise with the first phrase being: ‘At the Ritz-Carlton, our ladies and gentlemen are our most important resource to our service commitment to our guests.’ We work hard for them and, in turn, they work hard for us. I go into work knowing I will always be taken care of and this is simply understood by our motto that we live out each and every day: ‘We are ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen.’  My job has Welcome to Work where my colleagues are welcomed by warm smiles and morning treats.  We also participate in a large amount of charity work throughout the year which includes the local Cleveland community and beyond.”

“At COBI I was a double major: Professional Sales and Marketing. I selected these majors because I love the challenge of being able to not only sell someone on my passion for an idea, service or product, but to connect them with enough to have them feel the same enthusiasm as I do. I never knew exactly what I would do with my major other than I wanted to be successful and help out others along the way. UT not only made me see a clear path of where I was headed, this school truly turned my dream into a reality.”

“Words cannot express my love for this school and the first-hand experience that I have received at COBI. Looking back, I would not be where I am today without the education I received from The University of Toledo. Honestly, no one can pay me for saying this. COBI gave me the most important resource that no university or college could ever match:  professors and advisors who genuinely care about their students and their overall success. I never felt like just a student; I felt like I was part of a community that poured out support to provide the overall goal of not just graduating but succeeding past graduation. COBI provided me with real life experiences such as the recorded role playing of being the buyer, seller and learning coach as well as the job fair that allowed us to interact with corporations to ask questions and interview on the spot.”

“I had an internship with the Athletic Marketing Department. I enjoyed the internship because it allowed me to experience what I was working towards with my marketing degree. I was able to contribute towards the Varsity "T" Hall of Fame by soliciting for donations of silent auction items for the event.”

“My original choice was the University of Akron where I started as a marketing major and attended for 1 1/2 years. I mainly selected the school on the conditions that it had a business program and gave me the opportunity to experience living away from home, since I have lived in Sylvania my entire life. Although I loved the social life and the lifelong friends that I made there, it did not take me long to realize that the grass is not always greener on the other side. I knew transferring to UT was the best decision for me based on their national standings with their College of Business but specifically their sales program. Having a sales program that was recognized as the number one sales school in the nation made the decision easy and I knew I wanted to be part of that success. With the help of my wonderful dad, David Kujawa, I was able to enroll into the University of Toledo during winter break of 2010 for the 2011 spring semester.  Like every student enrolling into college, you are unsure of where your future will take you, and the unknown is a bit nerve-racking. UT gave not only reassurance of what success could come with hard work and dedication but also comfort in knowing they have 100% job placement within the sales school.”

“Lora Cramer was one of the most influential professors I had at COBI, very knowledgeable and provided relatable material. She made every lecture interesting and challenged us in class with presentation and open dialogue. Barb Robertson, although not a professor, was probably one of the best assets I had at COBI. Her guidance and willingness to go above and beyond for her students was incredible. She always made time to speak with me and never made me feel like my questions were unimportant. I am extremely grateful for her guidance and support throughout my time at UT.”

“Anyone considering studying at UT COBI will find it to be the BEST investment and well worth the work to graduate!” Kujawa said.

“I am a proud Rocket!”

Last Updated: 11/3/16