What is your role at the Millennium Hotel?
I am General Manager of the Hotel and arrived in February. I left Crescent Hotels& Resorts (Fairfax, VA) where I was an Area General Manager with responsibilities for a number of hotels. My most recent prior experience includes serving as General Manager- Lansdowne Resort (Leesburg, Virginia) and Managing Director-The Innisbrook Resort & Spa (Palm Harbor, Florida).
Can you tell us a brief history about the Hotel?
The hotel opened in 1983 as the Sheraton University Center and was billed, “Durham’s First Elegant Hotel.” The cost of construction was $10 million and offered 234 rooms. In 1986 the hotel was expanded to its present 316 rooms. The hotel was affiliated with Regal Hotels from 1996 through 2001and was acquired by Millennium Hotels & Resorts in 2001.
What is your favorite thing about working at the Hotel?
Right now it’s all about helping to set our course for the future. The renovation of all 316 guest rooms and suites (a $14 million project) is exciting but just as importantly, the planning and execution of plans designed to improve service in all areas of the hotel is challenging and fun. The staff has been looking forward to the renovation for some time and they are excited about the multitude of changes to the building. I’ve been inspired by how eagerly they have embraced the heightened service standards and expectations we are implementing.
What do you want the business community to know about the Hotel?
Ownership, management and staff are all looking forward to offering the entire region the “new” Millennium Hotel. It’s not only about the building. The consistently positive attitudes and improved competencies of current and new team members are no less important than new rooms.
Is there anything coming up for the Millennium?
As many in our community are aware we are already making hundreds of changes to the physical plant. At the same time and no less challenging are the “behind the scenes” changes in staff training, performance expectations and consistency. I’m looking forward to the day when the physical changes and service improvements are executed simultaneously. Change is typically a taxing process but it has to be done in order to achieve our mission to get better in all aspects of our business.
What is your favorite quote or saying?
The harder you work, the luckier you get.
What is your favorite thing about Durham?
Without question it’s the blend of cultures. And those cultures are so evident in the city’s restaurants, neighborhoods and businesses. Obviously much of that diversity is driven by the university communities so that combination of elements all contributes to making Durham a special place.
What is your favorite thing to do in Durham?
I’m spending a great deal of time discovering restaurants, especially independently owned and operated restaurants. The creativity, quality and variety are incredible. I must also admit, I’m also exploring areas outside Durham looking for quiet fishing spots. Any tips regarding great small mouth bass fishing water are welcomed and will remain confidential!
Is there anything additional you would like to add?
I appreciate this opportunity to say “hello” to your members and want them to know we’ll be working hard to represent Durham in a manner that will make them proud.