Jeff Higley, president, The BHN Group, coordinator of the conferences, praised Wardinski’s more than four decades of commitment to the hospitality space. “Bruce has carved a niche in the industry that few have achieved,” Higley said. “His passion, dedication, financial acumen and people-first approach, combined with his vision for the all-inclusive resort segment, make him a deserving recipient of this prestigious award.”

Wardinski founded Playa Hotels & Resorts in 2006, launching a portfolio of all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, Jamaica and The Dominican Republic. Under his leadership, Playa secured partnerships with Hyatt, Hilton, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and IHG Hotels & Resorts. Since its initial public offering in 2017, Playa has grown to more than 12,000 employees.

“This award is a humbling milestone in my career,” he said. “It recognizes the efforts of the remarkable teams and partners I’ve worked with over the years and underscores our commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction.”

Wardinski has held roles in companies such as Barceló Crestline, Highland Hospitality, Marriott International and Host Hotels & Resorts. He is also chairman of the ServiceSource Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting people with disabilities.

by Gregg Wallis