Hotel Online  Special Report

Expotel Hospitality L.L.C. Executives Go
“Back in Time” with Line Associates


Metairie LA (July 7, 2005) -- Expotel Hospitality L.L.C. corporate executives and the management teams at their 10 hotels recently went “Back in Time,” returning to their roots in line hotel jobs such as housekeeping, engineering, kitchen prep and guest services. While gaining new appreciation for the work done by the line teams, the executives were also able to identify best practices and surface suggestions for operational improvements/efficiencies at their hotels. 

The Expotel associates who coached the managers on the tasks to be done were both gratified and sometimes amused by the efforts of the management teams. The experience was best summed up by Jason Kretch, Executive Meeting Manager for Expotel's Embassy Suites in Schaumburg IL who spent the day in Engineering at his hotel: “This is definitely a dirty difficult job, and I have a new appreciation for what Tony [Smith, Chief Engineer] and his guys do. I enjoyed my time learning about the building and would do it again anytime.” 

Natalie Sturtz, Executive Events Manager, who shadowed a housekeeper for the shift, echoed that respect saying, ”I was winded and exhausted and my back hurt by the time we were on the second bedroom but it was great  to walk in someone else’s shoes and I apologize to Margarita if I added time on to her cleaning because she had to fix something I did!” 

Executives from the Metairie Corporate office fanned out across the country. Richard Ganucheau, Vice President for Technology and Risk Management, worked in Maintenance at the Hampton Inn, Metairie. Chief Engineer Willis Montz, Corporate Director of Engineering was at the Hilton Melbourne. Nick Agostinelli, Corporate F&B Director joined the kitchen line at the Embassy Suites in Phoenix.  Travis Tague, Corporate Director of Human Resources worked as a Guest Service Representative, and Dave Moore, corporate Controller, as Bellman, at the Pontchartrain.

Mark Kucera, Executive Vice President of Operations, who worked in utility at the Denny's at the company's Best Western New Orleans, commented, “The purpose of this exercise was for our managers across the country to engage, first hand, in what associates see every day through their eyes performing their tasks, while, hopefully, giving us all some insight into what the priorities are in terms of enhancing the delivery of a fresh product and great service to our guests each and every day.” 

Jeff Iavarone, Vice President of Marketing took a shift behind the Front Desk in Schaumburg where, even with the assistance of the hotel's Human Resources Director, Jill Kloceck who started her career behind the front desk, he admitted to a humbling experience.  “We all need to get out from behind our desks and remind ourselves how we keep the product fresh for our guests day after day,” said Iavarone. “A year ago, the entire company agreed on a common mission: 'Shared Values/Shared Vision' and that's exactly what the 'Back in Time' initiative was all about. 

In July 2004, Expotel brought together representatives from the company's Owners,  Corporate Staff, General Managers and Directors of Sales from all of Expotel's properties, along with delegates from each hotel representing the front and back of the house associates. To represent the broadest range of participation, the General Manager at each hotel was asked to select hourly associates and supervisors to attend based on their ability to represent their departments as well as their counterparts across the company, their commitment to their roles at their hotels, their tenure and their willingness to speak their minds. These associates formed 40 percent of the team responsible for drafting Expotel's Core Values. The result was “Shared Values/Shared Vision.” “Back in Time” evolved from that core philosophy. 

Headquartered in New Orleans, Expotel Hospitality Services, L.L.C. is a hotel management company with 12 hotels (9 owned and managed, 3 managed) operating under Hilton, Holiday Inn, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Doubletree and Best Western flags as well as the historic Pontchartrain Hotel.

Stephanie Seacord
Leading Edge
135 Piscassic Road (Box 960)
Newfields NH 03856
T: 603-772-1835

Also See: Travis Tague Named Corporate Director of Human Resources for Expotel Hospitality Services, LLC / January 2005
Expotel Hospitality Services, L.L.C., a Hotel Management Company with 12 Hotels, Defines Core Values / July 2004
Expotel Hospitality Services, L.L.C. Names Jeff Iavarone, Vice President Marketing / October 2003
Expotel Hospitality Services, L.L.C. Appoints 3 Senior Hotel Executives / November 2003
Mark J. Kucera Named Executive Vice President of Operations, Expotel Hospitality Services, L.L.C. / January 2004

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