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MCHA Honors Hospitality Professional of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award at Annual Event

February 21, 2024

Annual Awards Gala | March 1, 2024 — Monterey Marriott

(Monterey, CA) – Monterey County Hospitality Association (MCHA) will honor the Hospitality Professional of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday, March 1st at their Annual Awards Gala at the Monterey Marriott. This year’s honorees, Inns-by-the-Sea’s Mark T. Watson and Pebble Beach Company’s William (Bill) L. Perocchi will be recognized for their on-going service and commitment to the local hospitality industry.

Lifetime Achievement Award – William L. Perocchi, Pebble Beach Company

Perocchi, Partner and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pebble Beach Company, previously served as CEO of Pebble Beach Company for 22 years prior to retiring in July 2021. 

When Pebble Beach Company was sold to a group of investors (led by Clint Eastwood, Dick Ferris, Arnold Palmer, and Peter Ueberroth) in July 1999, Perocchi led the due diligence efforts as well as the arranging of financing. During his tenure, Perocchi led Pebble Beach Company through many great celebrations and some unprecedented challenges, while remaining heavily involved in community activities and charitable causes. 

“Very few leaders have made an impact in hospitality like Bill Perocchi. Over the years his events have brought positive publicity to this area and an enormous amount of revenue,” comments Ted Balestreri, Chairman and CEO, Cannery Row Company. “When things got tough during Covid, he was on the front lines working to get us all open as soon as possible. Bill showed great compassion for his employees, time and time again. He was there for them while also providing considerable support to philanthropic community charities. Further, Bill and Nancy’s personal charitable endeavors continue to seek assistance for those who need it most. Bill is truly deserving of this award. I am proud to call him my friend.”

Prior to joining Pebble Beach Company, Perocchi served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Doubletree Hotels Corporation. He worked with Ferris and Ueberroth to grow the company from 40 hotels to 1,300 hotels worldwide.

Perocchi is a member of the Junior Achievement Monterey Bay Business Hall of Fame, Lawrence Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame, and the Boys and Girls Club of America Hall of Fame, and board member of the Monterey County Boys and Girls Club, Stevenson School and Monterey Peninsula Foundation.  He is also a past recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Boys and Girls Club Presidents Award, Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, Italian Heritage Society Man of the Year, and The Langley Award. 

MCHA 2023 Hospitality Professional of the Year - Mark T. Watson, Inns-by-the-Sea
Watson, General Manager of Inns-by-the-Sea,  has been a leader in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. Since 2011, he has served on the MCHA Board of Directors for multiple terms, holding key leadership roles such as Chairman, Treasurer, and Secretary during his tenure. Over the course of more than a decade, Watson has been a dedicated participant in numerous MCHA fundraising and organizational committees, a steadfast advocate for the industry in governmental affairs, and presently serves on the Finance Committee. In recognition of his considerable volunteer contributions, Mark was honored with the Hospitality Volunteer of the Year Award by the Association in 2013.

“As MCHA Chair, Mark worked diligently to understand every issue completely from all sides, ensuring an outcome that best served the entire hospitality community. He quickly engaged with industry and community leaders to address and resolve challenges as they presented themselves,” comments Past MCHA Board Chair Rick Aldinger. “Additionally, he identified the need to overhaul and upgrade the organization’s financial systems, brand identity and website. He took this on personally, giving MCHA a modern, more efficient way of managing our finances and business.”

Watson’s commitment to the industry is further evidenced by over a decade of service as a board member and Treasurer for Visit Carmel. In 2012, Watson participated in the establishment of the Carmel Hospitality Improvement District and assumed the role of its inaugural Board Chairman in 2013. Additionally, he was instrumental in the formation of Visit Carmel, a non-profit organization that became the Administrator for the updated district in 2015. 

Watson’s professional journey began in 1986 at the newly reopened Robles del Rio Lodge in Carmel Valley, working closely with local industry expert Daniel Barduzzi to gain insights into hotel and restaurant management.  In 1990, Watson assumed the role with Gurries Management at the Tickle Pink Inn in the Carmel Highlands, ultimately overseeing a significant renovation that earned the property the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award the following year. Watson's strategic vision prompted Gurries Management to acquire a second property in Carmel-by-the-Sea, and he continued to manage both properties until 2004. Shortly thereafter, Watson took the helm at Inns-by-the-Sea, overseeing nine hotel properties on California’s central coast, eventually becoming an ownership partner in its operations.  

The Monterey County Hospitality Association will honor both individuals with awards and recognition on March 1, while celebrating the industry and raising money for upcoming programs, advocacy and development. Tickets can be purchased for the event at contact MCHA Executive Director, Kristin Horton at for more information. 

Monterey County Hospitality Association’s mission is to protect the interests and serve as the voice of the hospitality industry throughout Monterey County, by maintaining strong partnerships with local government, elected officials and community groups. We work to ensure the overall vitality of our industry by providing education programs for our workforce, employee recognition and advocate for the over 20,000 employees that represent industry.


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