Emotional farewell to Riu’s Katharina Doehler
It was an emotion-filled farewell that friends and well-wishers offered to outgoing general manager at Riu Ocho Rios, Katharina Doehler, last Friday night at the hotel.
Doehler heads to Riu Plaza Miami Beach to begin a new chapter in her amazing career in the hospitality industry.
There were lots of hugs, smiles, laughter, a few tears, frank comments, and mostly an outpouring of love and appreciation, which showed the impact she had on her staff and management team for the 10 years she spent at the property.
The first sign of her impact was that, Ricardo Foreman, entertainment manager at the hotel next door, Jewel Dunn's River, was asked to host the event, which he did with class.
An entertainment package that featured Blitz Band, which played selections ranging from Marley to The Beatles, a dance from Winston, the captain dancer and a brilliant duet from dancers Sheldon and Kimani, added to the excitement.
New general manager, Javier Huertas, was among those present to wish Doehler well.
Also present were Vana Taylor of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Custos Norma Walters, representatives from North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), Gilbert Blackwood from Ambiance Hotel, several business persons including Prem Mahtani, Joe Issa, and Rose Skinner who organised the evening's event.
It was the open mic section that brought the real sense of appreciation for the goodly woman.
Custos Norma Walters described her as the youngest female general manager in Jamaica and warned the incoming manager he would have big shoes to fill.
Vana Taylor spoke of her kindness and willingness to help, such as when the hotel hosted residents from the St Ann infirmary for a day, about two years ago.
Carlington Pryce, public relations manager at Riu, said words could hardly describe the joy and happiness working with Doehler had brought, while he warned her, in good humour, that she works too hard.
Department heads all paid tribute to Doehler, and all brought a little gift from their respective departments.
She also received a certification of appreciation from the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association Ocho Rios/Runaway Bay Chapter, which was presented by Vana Taylor.
Words such as strong, hardworking, good work ethics, endearing qualities, good boss, heart of gold, best young manager, trendsetter, perfectionist, our best friends, we love you, were used to express sentiments.
A cake to mark the occasion was beautifully decorated in pink, yellow, and green, and with the words 'We will miss you' written on it.
With the managers gathered around, Doehler duly cut the cake and later offered a slice to new general manager, Javier Huertas.
Seemingly her way of passing the baton.
Doehler was not scheduled to speak but couldn't let the opportunity pass to say thanks to the team she successfully led over the past decade.