There is a Webinar today hosted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Under 30 Gateway Council called “What your boss knows, but hasn’t shared—with you.” The speakers for the Webinar (registration ended Monday) have years of hospitality experience, and I am curious to find out what secrets they are going to divulge.
While I’m a member of this Council, as a journalist I consider myself a bit of an outsider. But one of the great perks of my job is that I get to talk to the big wigs—so what exactly have I not already heard? Certainly we all hear about RevPAR and why customer service is crucial. I’d like to think I’ll hear more of what I’ve already learned. And that is a basic principle of business: people matter.
It’s time for a short story.
I had the opportunity to interview the late Steve Porter more than once in my four years in the industry. The last time I spoke to him was at this year’s AH&LA Legislative Action Summit.
After (IHG’s PR rep) Stephen Boggs and myself shared tales of woe about raising toddlers and Steve Porter gave a knowing chuckle, I went on to ask him about the latest issues—card check, immigration and the like.
And, it struck me then as it does now as I retell the story, that even as Steve mentioned that his own kids were just about my age, he treated me with the sincerity that I’ve seen him demonstrate on stage at industry conferences.
Aside from being a tribute to Steve Porter’s legacy (he passed away last Thursday), I tell this story now because he was the first executive to agree to participate in today’s Under 30 Gateway Webinar.
Of course, we won’t be hearing Steve’s thoughts on this topic, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that there are good people all around me. And if the Webinar panelists know what I’ve already figured out, they will tell today’s audience to stick around—you won’t be disappointed.
Speaking of sticking around, I hope you have noticed that something is cooking at STR and the newly-branded Hotel News Now Digest daily newsletter. The team is working tirelessly to launch the Hotel News Now Web site, and I couldn’t be happier. One of my new-found joys is watching a fellow editor on our staff get to know people in this industry. I find myself asking, “Isn’t he great?” or “Don’t you just love her?”
I’m beginning a similar journey as I expand my news base globally. I know I’ll be meeting more intriguing people. What I don’t know is how I got so lucky.