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  • Xanterra’s 2022 Our Softer Footprint Awards

    2022 Our Softer Footprint Awards

Congratulations and thank you to the recipients of our 6th annual Our Softer Footprint Awards!

Each year, Xanterra Travel Collection® recognizes five employees for their exceptional commitment to our sustainability efforts. These individuals are nominated by their peers for going above and beyond their assigned duties, making a tremendous impact in our parks and for our environment.


Xanterra’s 2022 Our Softer Footprint Awards 1

Kandi being presented the certificate by Grand Canyon Sustainability Director, David Perkins

Kandi Greear for Operational Efficiency (Grand Canyon South Rim)

Kandi is always the go-to manager at Grand Canyon for implementation of sustainability initiatives. The list of her contributions is long. She certainly supports everything we have ever done over the years and is the keeper of all things environmental and safety/hazard related for the department. Her ability to see why we have the Our Softer Footprint policy has helped us initiate, accelerate or maintain the following projects.

Kandi said that “It’s important to me. It’s our planet, it’s our park, and it’s our life. We need to preserve it for future generations.”


Xanterra’s 2022 Our Softer Footprint Awards 2

Melinda receiving the certificate from Sustainability Manager Megan Mattioli and General Manager Jeffrey D’Arpa

Melinda O’Neal for Waste Reduction (Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel)

Whenever an order request comes in from the Train Operations department, Melinda diligently searches for a solution that will cut down on waste. She looks for items that use more sustainable materials or that will be more durable in the long term. In addition, she has taken steps to digitize processes in Train Operations. Melinda is also a dedicated member of the Green Team and will pick up litter even in the worst weather conditions!”

Melinda said “I was just doing my job to support the GCRH 2022 Sustainability Dept. goals by proposing Lean Six Sigma process improvements, and then assisting with the cross-functional implementation. Through this experience, I learned that GCRH has been a sustainability innovator for 15 years, and I discovered how sustainability can double profitability through rippling cost reductions. The Softer Footprint nomination and award were a surprise to me, and the award is really a credit to our GCRH leadership who hears the braintrust we have here, to our mindful employees who champion progress, and to the Xanterra culture that allows employees the freedom to be themselves and to be creative in applying their knowledge, investing themselves not just with their minds, but with their hearts.”

“My husband and I chose to live in Williams to elevate our lifelong dedication to sustainability by moving off-grid, and to teach and show our children, grandchildren and friends what it takes and how simple, enjoyable and incredibly cost-effective this lifestyle can be. I intentionally sought a job with the railway, a crown jewel in the Xanterra collection and a cornerstone in Williams, because of its conscientiousness in aggressively reducing environmental impact… and because we absolutely love trains and living history.”

Xanterra’s 2022 Our Softer Footprint Awards 3

Talbot in the dark shirt, Sustainability Director David Perkins left center, and two others who he wanted to be recognized for their key role in the certification, Pastry Chef Patty Park on the left and El Tovar Manager Darin Danaher on the right.

Talbot Ngiratmab for Educational Outreach (Grand Canyon South Rim)

The El Tovar dining room recently became a Four-Star Certified Green Restaurant®! This would not have been possible without Talbot. Taking on the challenge to be the go-to person, he completed a course with the Green Restaurant Association and became a Green Restaurant Accredited Employee (GRAE). He repeatedly organized training sessions and administered quizzes to employees not only gaining points for the certification, but also boosting employee morale. Our staff loves our sustainability program. It makes us all feel like we are making a difference at work.

Talbot called Sustainability, “…a noble cause worthy to be a part of.” After El Tovar achieved 4 stars as a Certified Green Restaurant®, Talbot praised “…our collaboration to achieving this goal when we first talked about it in late April! With a lot of passion, will power, and the right team, anything can be accomplished!”

Xanterra’s 2022 Our Softer Footprint Awards

Bob, Tina, and nominee Patrick Heiter are recognized by Human Resources Manager Heather Amelotte (front left), Sustainability Manager Stevi Greene (front right), and General Manager Gerard Steffan (back middle).

Tina Williams & Bob MacGrath for Outstanding Leadership (Zion)

You name it, this woman does it. She works all day, every day. We all joke that she runs on solar instead of sleep. Tina is a dedicated worker that never turns down an opportunity to help others. The sustainability department relies heavily on Tina’s hard work and enthusiasm to always get the job done. She volunteers to maintain our community garden in the high heat of summer on her evenings off. When Bob, or the recyclers, are sorting recycling, Tina won’t pass by without pitching in a hand.

Tina points out that “You would be mad if you didn’t do your part to preserve a place as beautiful as Zion. Zion is my home, and I will continue to do my part to keep my home clean and green.”

Zion has been without a recycler for over 2 months, so Bob made sorting EACH bag of recyclables by hand fit into his normal busy shift. He also adjusts his schedule to make sure composting is properly tracked and monitored. His outstanding leadership has been noticed by employees which have now also offered to pitch in. Being such a valued team mate, his hard work doesn’t stop there—he is constantly coming up with new ideas on how to track, monitor, and make current sustainable processes more efficient.

Bob wants it to be known that “Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility.”

All winners received certificates of recognition and $100 gift cards! Other worthy nominees included: Christine Sceppe, Patrick Heiter, Cindy Goldstein, Stanley Koziol and Rachel Hernandez.

Thank you for your commitment to Live Life Sustainably!