In the Words of Chesapeake

"Experience What's Possible" Employee Series

July 30, 2018

Melissa is a great example of what it means to 'Experience What's Possible.  Melissa started her career with Chesapeake as the Front Office Supervisor at the Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore in 2009 and with her hardwork and determination, quickly climbed the ranks to become General Manager for the Homewood Suites in Kingwood Texas by 2014. She is currently the General Manager at the Doubletree by Hilton Laurel and resides in Annapolis, Maryland! Melissa is passionate about the industry, Chesapeake Hospitality and building a team to ensure they too "Experience What's Possible".

  • What are the key areas a property can go above and beyond to enhance possibility for guests?

 Listening and responding, being present, being a lobby lizard – that’s the foundation. Ensuring all levels of management are taking the time to communicate with guests and truly listen. When it comes to formal feedback, making sure we are processing written surveys and making meaningful adjustments, even to the small things.

 Many adjustments we’ve made recently go a long way towards helping guests maximize their stay. Guests said they wanted a more protein-heavy breakfast to provide more energy in the day, so we made the change. Guests asked for more outlets in the room to make it easier to work with and charge the range of technologies on hand, so we made the change. Little things, but they ultimate add up to a guest that’s better energized and enabled to succeed in the work they came here to do.

 Also, we make sure to look after the individual traveller. While a company may accumulate rewards points when their employees stay with us, we want to make sure that individual guests is looked after. Something as simple as a free cocktail at the end of the day can make all the difference. And not a well cocktail, the good stuff.

 

  • How can employees work every day to enhance possibility for each other?

 This is a key focus for us – something we take the time to speak about each month at our employee luncheon. Put simply, it’s going out of our way to help each other in our roles. The more we help each other, the more we strengthen a positive and constructive team environment. At the same time, we’re gaining experience across practices, providing the foundation for our own career advancement.

 As management, we focus on supporting each other, setting the example – because the example carries throughout the team and helps set the tone.


  • How have you realized possibility in your own career and what advice would you give others?

 I’ve had the opportunity to grow from my college days in Indiana, from an hourly associate – to  nine and a half years later, five hotels later, having the opportunity to manage a property. It all comes down to the same mentality we work to cultivate amongst our team – always jump in to help, and never say no to something. If there’s a void in an operation, another position that’s empty – if someone asks you to help on something that’s not in your normal scope of work - take it on!

 These challenges will push you to another level. Don’t be afraid to try something new – we have a great support staff and we want to help you succeed.

  • Are there any particular moments that have stuck out as truly living the Experience What’s Possible mentality?

 There are hundreds, it’s something we live every day – but I think my own experience speaks volumes. I’m where I am today because they took a chance on an Indiana kid who said, “oh I’ll move to Florida, that’s fine.”

 It’s very rare for a company to employ someone multiple states away in an hourly role. Looking forward, I don’t ever want to discount an applicant, no matter where they’re coming from. Don’t deny the opportunity just because of where the applicant lives, give that applicant the opportunity to succeed if they’re qualified.