Stewart was serving as master of ceremonies for the annual Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau luncheon last week when organizers gave him the distinguished service award.
“I had no idea,” Stewart said. “I’m extremely pleased and certainly surprised.”
Stewart is finishing up his second year as chairman of Go Wichita.
When John Rolfe, the organization’s former president and CEO, left in February, Stewart headed up the search for a replacement. Until Susan Santo was named to the post in August, Stewart also helped the Go Wichita staff when needed.
That was all addition to his regular job running the Hyatt Regency.
“I couldn’t let that slip,” Stewart said of the latter. “That’s my paying job.”
“It was very busy, but I tell you, it was very gratifying,” he said. “It gave me some great insight into the staff at Go Wichita, who are some amazing people."
Stewart, 52, is an Akron, Ohio, native who has spent 30 years with Hyatt. He came to Wichita four years ago.
Stewart and his wife, Christine, have a 9-year-old son, Collin, and a 21-year-old son, Matthew, who has just completed culinary school in Boulder, Colo.
Outside work, Stewart is a runner who recently completed the Prairie Fire Marathon.
“I enjoy running,” he said. “It’s one of my loves later in life now.”