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Hornblower Cruises & Events’ Chris Schlerf Wins Esteemed Gold Key Award

March 9, 2010


Hornblower Cruises & Events’ Chris Schlerf Wins Esteemed Gold Key Award

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Chris Schlerf, food and beverage director for Hornblower Cruises & Events in San Diego, received this year’s Gold Key Award from the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association and the local chapter of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders presented the award, which recognizes Schlerf’s community contributions, customer service and food and beverage industry leadership.

A 23-year veteran of Hornblower, Schlerf trains and supervises 125 crewmembers who serve some 250,000 guests each year on 7 San Diego yachts and 1 on-land venue, The Abbey on Fifth Avenue. In addition to overseeing culinary and customer service efforts, he leads green initiatives such as sustainable seafood purchasing, recycling and composting. Schlerf’s participation in local Hornblower leadership has earned the company recognition from the San Diego Business Journal, Meeting Professionals International and the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, among others.

“Chris is a wise professional with integrity, creativity and passion. He is a humble leader and a credit to the restaurant and tourism industry,” says Hornblower general manager Jim Unger. “He has been integral in Hornblower’s success and growth for more than two decades.”

Schlerf graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 1983 and joined Hornblower as an executive chef in 1987. He worked at the company’s San Francisco, Marina del Rey, Long Beach and Newport Beach ports before accepting the position of San Diego executive chef, and he serves as chef advisor and mentor for Grossmont College Culinary Students. Schlerf and his wife, Debbie, are the adopted parents of three special needs children. He is also involved with Monte Vista High School and Highlands Middle School PTA associations, Valley De Oro Little League and San Diego County Adoptions Classes.


Hornblower Cruises & Events has been the leading charter yacht and public dining cruise company in California for 30 years. The company operates 32 vessels in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Marina del Rey and San Diego. The 1000 passenger Inspiration Hornblower is one of San Diego’s premier venues. In addition, Hornblower San Diego offers seasonal Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventures and year round Harbor Cruises. For more information visit: