Martha Zyla Wins 2019 Danielle Knerr Spa Leadership Award at SpaHive Norwhich

Martha Zyla takes home the second annual Danielle Knerr Spa Leadership Award. // Photo via Getty Images (Photo via Getty Images)

Martha Zyla, spa director at Cascade Spa at Mill Falls (Meredith, NH) took home the 2019 Danielle Knerr Spa Leadership Award at SpaHive’s event in Norwich, CT, this September. Zyla is the second person to receive this annual award, created by Julie Pankey, owner of JMPankey Partners, a spa business consulting company, and founder of SpaHive, an online community for spa professionals.

Zyla is known for providing guests with a peaceful and restorative environment. Celebrated as a  savvy businesswoman, Zyla joined the Cascade team in 2006 and since then has expanded the hotel’s spa business dramatically. Colleagues praise Zyla’s calm persona, dedication, and compassion, saying that she is beloved by both staff and guests.

Zyla with her award. // Photo via Martha Zyla
Martha Zyla, 2019 Danielle Knerr Award Winner

“What an extreme pleasure and honor it was to have received such a prestigious industry award,” says Zyla. “I am so grateful and humble, and truly appreciate the recognition that Julie Pankey and fellow peers are giving to both me and Cascade Spa. Our team works tirelessly to give each guest the ultimate spa experience, offering the best-in-class services combined with extraordinary 5-star customer service. I’m committed to excellence and to being an industry leader and a powerful voice for wellness.”

Pankey created the award in memory of Danielle Knerr, a colleague who spent more than 18 years in the spa industry, working her way from an entry-level housekeeper to spa director at the Spa at Norwich Inn (Norwich, CT). Wanting to honor hardworking leaders like Knerr, Pankey created the award to highlight spa directors that exemplify four traits: humility, compassion, empathy, and discipline. 

In addition to the annual award, JMPankey Partners provides educational programs to future award winners, helping spas and hotels to expand their services, raise standards, learn new solutions and tools, increase business, and maximize profits. For more details, go to



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