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July 2015

General Manager of Disneyland Hotel & Resort Named 2015 Distinguished Alumni


Cal Poly Pomona honored nine outstanding graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given by the Alumni Association, on April 24 at the Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Fairplex. The Distinguished Alumni Award honors graduates with astonishing professional achievement, community contribution and service to Cal Poly Pomona. Pilar Hamil ’97 was recognized for her career achievements and dedication to the community and her alma mater.


While attending The Collins College full-time, Hamil began her career at Walt Disney Co. 21 years ago as a part-time Disneyland tour guide for celebrities and VIPs. She has worked at all three Disneyland Resort hotels in 10 different positions, and currently heads a team of 37 leaders and 1,500 hourly employees as the general manager of the iconic Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, a AAA four-diamond property.


“It is really rewarding to be able to make people’s dreams come true,” she says. “Our mission here is to create happiness.”


Fluent in Spanish, Hamil also serves as an executive champion for HOLA, a diversity resource group at the Disneyland Resort. She is also a Disneyland spokeswoman assigned to Spanish media.


The Distinguished Alumna also contributes on a personal level by giving back to her alma mater. She has participated in the annual Professor for a Day program, regularly attends alumni events, and has given tours of her hotel to Collins College classes through the years.


“I love participating in Professor for a Day because it gives me an opportunity to spend time with students, see what their dreams are, and share my own experience with them,” says Hamil.


Most recently, she came back to the college to have a private dinner at The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch with first-year Hospitality Management students who are living in the residence halls. The alumna is proud to share her success with students and credits her polytechnic education for preparing her to be a leader in the hospitality industry.


“The experience at The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch is one I will take with me forever. I love working hands-on and immediately applying what I learn. That is one of the greatest benefits that I took away from my experience at Cal Poly Pomona,” says Hamil. “I would highly recommend The Collins College because, after all, it is the second happiest place on Earth.” 


Pilar Hamil
Pilar Hamil and Dean Dopson
2015 Distinguished Alumni
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