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Salvatore Lercara makes final round of U.S. Travel Association’s “Faces of Travel” Contest

Third-Generation Banquet Waiter at The Plaza Named Finalist in Nationwide Travel Industry Concert

sal-4026684BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 17, 2009) – Central Park South Events (CPS Events) at The Plaza today congratulated Salvatore Lercara, a third-generation banquet waiter at the hotel, for his selection as a finalist in the U.S. Travel Association’s “Faces of Travel” contest. The U.S. Travel Association tapped Lercara as one of six finalists out of 200 entrants who were vying for $5,000 in cash and the title of U.S. travel spokesperson.

Lercara was one of six finalists chosen by an expert judging panel from a pool of more than 200 video entries. More than 16,000 people across the country watched the six finalist videos and voted for the one they believe best represents the 7.7 million Americans whose jobs depend on travel.
“The people who made up the ‘Faces of Travel’ finalist pool are truly outstanding,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Each and every finalist embodies the spirit of the travel industry and represents the millions of employees who depend on travel. These are the front-line workers whose jobs are at stake when businesses choose not to travel to meetings, events and incentives.”
Lercara works for CPS Events at The Plaza, a joint venture between two New York state companies, Great Performances and Delaware North Companies, created to manage and operate The Plaza Grand Ballroom and meeting space.
“We are proud to have one of our associates chosen as a finalist in the ‘Faces of Travel’ contest,” said Mike Warren, director of catering for CPS Events. “Salvatore’s nomination celebrates the hardworking, energetic attitude that we value so much in all of our associates. His entry puts a human face on the enormous value of travel to The Plaza and to New York City as a whole.”
The U.S. Travel Association launched the “Faces of Travel” campaign in March following widespread concern over the decline in business meetings and events. The contest invited workers whose livelihood depends on travel to submit 45- to 60-second videos detailing the impact of travel on their careers and livelihoods. Paco Saldana of the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island collected the highest number of votes, becoming the new “Face of Travel.”
For more information on the “Faces of Travel” initiative and the value of business meeting and event travel, visit To see Lercara’s entry video, visit