Back-of-House Food & Beverage Employee of the Year

Gilberto "Gil" Mesa

La Fonda on the Plaza

About Gilberto Mesa
Gilberto "Gil" Mesa, who has served as Purchasing Manager for La Fonda on the Plaza for 25 years, ensures that supplies are always in stock and ready for the property's food & beverage operations. Gil honed his organizational skills over a lifetime – learning from his mother who had 16 other children to feed, clothe and nurture. He came to La Fonda as a 45-year-old Santa Fe Community College student studying the culinary arts and served a kitchen apprentice for three years. After his apprenticeship, found an interest in purchasing. Gil’s attention to detail and meticulous planning helped La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel earn the designation as a Sustainability Champion in the Historic Hotels of America® and Historic Hotels Worldwide® 2018 Awards of Excellence. Gil is also the person responsible for the famous annual La Fonda holiday gingerbread house, which itself draws thousands of visitors to the lobby. His creativity and organizations skills are essential to La Fonda’s success.

Economic Impact

As a hospitality professional who works in Santa Fe County, Gilberto "Gil" Mesa contributed to $955.8 million in visitor spending in 2018 - which includes $392 million visitor spending on accommodations and $230 million in visitor spending on food & beverage (source: Tourism Economics)

Gilberto "Gil" Mesa contributes to a leisure and hospitality job market in Santa Fe that currently employs over 11,000 people. Earlier this year, leisure and hospitality employment for Santa Fe peaked at 12,600, setting a new record for Santa Fe. (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

"Gil" received this honor on Nov. 6, 2019, at the 2019 Top HAT Awards, hosted annually by the New Mexico Hospitality Association. For more information on this event, click here.