Somali Lane: Mpls. Holiday Inn Housekeeper & Somali Refugee Named ‘Hospitality Hero’

By Hibaad Cali Dasar

A Holiday Inn housekeeper who came to Minnesota as a refugee has been
named the “Hospitality Hero” of the third quarter of 2018.

On Monday, Meet Minneapolis announced Asha Hassan as the recipient of the “Hospitality Hero” award, which is given to a member of the Minneapolis hospitality community nominated by their colleagues.

Hassan, who works at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Minneapolis-Downtown (Convention Center), was nominated by the hotel’s Director of Sales Esta Goodman. She has been working at the hotel since 2000 and as a refugee she spoke little English, but is now fluent in the language.

Hassan is said to go above and beyond for hotel guests and always lends a hand to colleagues. In a recent example, Hassan found a suitcase in a vacant guest room that she was cleaning that had several thousand dollars inside. She assured a safe return to the guest.

“That’s what we call an honest Hospitality Hero!” Goodman said. “Her work sets the bar high as a golden standard of Minneapolis hospitality. Asha’s 18 years of dedication, diligence and pride in her work exemplify her as a Hospitality Hero that Minneapolis should be proud of. We sure are!”

Meet Minneapolis is a private not-for-profit member-based association with a mission to promote the Minneapolis area.