Brief background about your hotel:
The late Tom Drumheller, with Escape Lodging of Cannon
Beach, Oregon, worked on the Lodge at Columbia Point hotel project for more
than 12 years. He finally broke ground on his dream in September 2015. He grew
up in Walla Walla and had the vision for a boutique winery-themed hotel. The
Tri-Cities was ready for a hotel that would take it to the next level, and the
timing was right. To raise the bar in the Tri-Cities, you needed the caliber of
hotel like The Lodge at Columbia Point. The Lodge helps promote and market this
area as a destination, not just a pass-through location.
Number of employees you oversee: 48
Your hospitality experience:
Being the child of missionaries, I learned hospitality
at an early age. I started out loving kids in my day care, and then moved on to
serving in restaurants. The past 20 years I have worked in hotels, managing and
helping open several properties. This is the third hotel I have opened with
Escape Lodging. The Inn at Cannon Beach and The Ocean Lodge were the other two.
How did you land your current role?
When Tom was working on the project, he asked if I would
ever consider moving to the Tri-Cities. I have family in the area and needed to
be closer to help with my parents, so the opportunity was right.
How long have you been in it?
For more than 30 years.
How did you decide to pursue the career that you are
working in today?
Many people go looking for their passion to make a
career. My passion found me and it turned into a career.
Why should the Tri-Cities care about the hospitality
With the growth of the wine industry, sports and
addition of the Manhattan project, this area is becoming a destination to
travel to. The economic effect is substantial as it provides job creation in
Biggest challenge facing/managers in the hospitality
Finding good people is the biggest challenge. Another
area I see as a challenge is what our industry is fighting at the state level.
Restrictive scheduling being one.
Advice for someone going into a leadership position for
the first time?
Don’t think you have achieved anything yet, leadership
must be earned. Don’t expect anyone to do something you aren’t willing to do
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader
Who are your role models or mentors?
Tom Drumheller and Patrick Nofield have been amazing
mentors in hotels. My mom and dad had the gift of hospitality. Their home was
always open to everyone. They were involved in ministry wherever my dad was
stationed in the military. Later, they became missionaries and pastored a
servicemen’s church. Relationships were built around the table.
John Maxwell is my favorite when it comes to mentoring
me as a leader.
How do you measure success in your workplace?
When you see your employees going the “second mile” with
no expectations in return, that is a success to me. Another success is seeing
people I have planted seeds of leadership in now managing other hotels.
How do you keep your employees (or team members)
I am passionate about leadership. If you invest in
people and raise the bar on leadership, you raise the bar on hospitality. It’s
all about taking care of people. Before we can take care of guests, you have to
take care of staff. It overflows on to everything you do.
What do you consider your leadership style to be?
How do you balance work and family life?
When I am off, I very rarely check emails or check in at
work. I am accessible if they need me, but we all need a time of rest. I work
long hours when I am there.
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
I love to spend time with my family and grandchildren.
Our favorite hang out is Barnes and Noble; we love books.
What’s your best time management strategy?
I spend a lot of time loving on people, but when I close
my office door, I get more done. Meeting with my team leaders in our daily line
up every morning keeps us on track.
What’s your favorite podcast? Most-used app?
GLSnext (from the Global Leadership Summit) and right now
Media @ Work.
Best tip to relieve stress?
I am usually up at 5 a.m. for my quiet time. It’s my
spiritual time, I read, pray and journal. It’s where I get my balance and
Best tip for a great hotel stay?
Take time to unplug, unwind and enjoy a nice glass of
Daily and Monthly NewsSign up now!