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Hilton Announces Thrive Sabbatical Winners

Hilton turns Team Member dreams into reality

MCLEAN, Va. - If given the choice between personally living out a lifelong dream or giving one to a person or community in need, what would you do? Today, Hilton has announced the winners of its third consecutive Hilton Thrive Sabbatical — an industry-leading program that gives selected Team Members four weeks of paid sabbatical time and $5,000 to either live a dream or give a dream.

“Every day at Hilton, our passionate Team Members contribute to the Hilton Effect, creating a positive impact on our guests, on their fellow Team Members and in their communities. Over the past two years, we have been inspired by the life-changing experiences our Sabbatical winners have pursued for themselves and cultivated for others,” said Matt Schuyler, Chief Human Resources Officer at Hilton. “It is our privilege to support them in pursuing their dreams and being the positive change they want to see in the world.”

Over the coming year, Team Members will embark on journeys that will take them around the globe, including: 

  • Darshini Govindaraju, Regional Learning Manager, Corporate, will become certified in a classical traditional dance that is more than 2,000 years old.
  • Hiro Hsu, Director of Operations, Hilton Chengdu, will bike across Australian bush country raising money for a charity that supports youth education and opportunities for underprivileged kids.
  • Cassie Neidhart, HR Director, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, will dedicate her sabbatical to delivering care packages to chemo patients from San Diego to Memphis.
  • Roger McCall, Doorman, Hilton Sydney, will volunteer at an orphanage and use his teaching qualifications to help the children learn English.
  • Diana McClure, Director of Group Sales, Corporate, will sew quilts for the children of fallen military heroes.
  • Fiona Robinson, Facilities Manager, Hilton Glasgow, will take her husband, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years ago, to travel along the South Pacific and visit family while he is still able to travel.
  • Juan Sebastian Guerrero Rodriguez, Chef de Partie, Hilton Bogota, will travel around his home country of Colombia, sampling various cuisines from different cultures to inspire his cooking on property.
  • Marta Sanz, Marketing Manager, Hilton Madrid Airport, will honor her grandmother’s memory by providing three grandparents their dream holidays.
  • Jeanne Vaughn, Hilton Reservations and Customer Care, will reunite her daughters through volunteerism with the LGBTQ community and in support of her oldest daughter, who is transgender.

Since 2017, the Hilton Thrive Sabbatical program has given Team Members the opportunity to live a dream or give a dream – combined, that’s 80 weeks of sabbatical time, $100,000 in prize money awarded and countless lives impacted around the world. 

One previous Hilton Thrive Sabbatical recipient who had a truly life-changing experience was Mira Macud, a single mother and administrative assistant at Conrad Dubai. Eleven years ago, Mira left her home country of the Philippines to work in Dubai so she could send money home to her deaf son. During her sabbatical, she returned home to learn American Sign Language at the Philippine School for the Deaf, allowing her to have a conversation with her now 15-year-old son for the first time. Mira spent her Hilton Thrive Sabbatical allowance funding hundreds of meals for volunteers at the school. She also built a relationship with the team at Conrad Manila, who offered her a position at the property so she could live with her son again. Learn more about Mira’s inspiring journey here.

The four-week, paid sabbatical also includes a travel camera to document this life-altering journey. The program is open to both hotel and corporate Team Members and is part of Thrive at Hilton — an enterprise-wide commitment to creating a great place to work for all through a flexible and adaptive ecosystem of programs that enable growth and development. 

Those interested in joining the #1 Company to Work for in the U.S. and the #2 Workplace in the World can visit jobs.hilton.com.