Welcome to our GM Spotlight Series! This is an opportunity for you to meet the rockstars playing the hits at our various hotels throughout the western United States. Here’s a few insightful questions aimed at revealing just how we pull off our Mission: ‘Crafting inspired workplaces that deliver kick-ass guest experiences, maximizing investor returns’.

Introducing: Huberth Escobar at our Hampton Inn & Suites Ontario, CA

By Alison Sansone, VP of Marketing and Communications

The Hampton Inn & Suites continues to deliver a performance that is clearly impacted by the leadership style of its General Manager. From the look and feel of it, this hotel truly exemplifies the success of a mission that puts people first.

How did you get bit by the hospitality bug – tell us the brief story about your first hospitality/hotel job?

I was looking for opportunities at the beginning of my career and received a job offer for bell shuttle driver on the night shift – driving flight attendants to LAX. The guest service experience struck me as exciting and glamorous, I was fascinated learning about people traveling and seeing people smiling in a place away from home.

When I decided on this profession I recall something my grandmother said to me as I was preparing to be a GM.
She advised me “You have to learn how to do things yourself before you ask someone else to do it.”

I’ve worked in every single position of a hotel throughout my career, earning promotions along the way from bell captain to front desk then to night audit (the backbone and financial part of the operations was critical, I soon realized). Then during the downshift after 9/11, when travel decreased, I had extensive experience doing maintenance and housekeeping.

Doing housekeeping was pivotal for understanding how a clean room truly mattered to the guest experience; it was also critical in understanding the housekeepers themselves and their contribution to the success of any hotel. Guests spend the most time in the room so….

As AGM of an independent hotel there’s no corporate resources or brand resources, which made for a better learning experience. There’s not a dull day in the hospitality industry!

“From bow ties to sandals, Huberth is such a unique individual and a true asset to the organization. His passion for hospitality and the joy he gets from successfully caring for employees, guests and owners is apparent in every interaction with him.”
~Janet Fioriti, VP of Operations.

What’s the best comment you ever received from a guest as a result of #outrageoushospitality?

After having a conversation with a guest one morning, long ago as AGM, I found out he shared some comments directly with my GM. He was a guest from Google and said that he found me to be passionate about my job and he believed I had a good head on my shoulders and that I would go far in this profession.

Tell us one particular thing you’re doing right now to improve your guest service scores:

Making sure all associates aren’t afraid to smile and say hello – it goes a long way. A smile opens the door for feedback. The proof is in our Salt Scores, which consistently characterize my hotel as a ‘friendly environment’. One of my associates said to me yesterday “this property changed my personality – I used to be shy and now I’m out of my shell and speaking to guests.”

Huberth Escobar - Hampton Inn Suites- Ontario - Twenty Four Seven HotelsSo what’s your secret/tricks/tips for ‘minding the middle’ (of the budget), when it comes to the juggling act of keeping both guests and associates happy?

Every dept is aware of the budget and is given responsibility for the numbers. We authorize all depts to spend 80% of their budget. I try to strike a balance of accountability and empowerment.

I also see this as a development/learning opportunity for them; I use it as a teaching process, to show them how the hotel collectively meets budget and maintains service.

If we need it, we’ll buy it. Period. We know it’s our responsibility to provide tools while we’re also conscious of how we spend money as an investment.

Choose your management style: 1. Iron Man/Tony Stark, 2. Mother Theresa, or 3. Bill Murray

I know my style is coaching, I train and inspire people… So I think that means Mother Theresa because I see the human element – the soul of everyone that works for me.

Tell us about your daily stand-up routine? Group huddles? Dance party? Start with a joke?
– What’s the most valuable impact/purpose of the stand-up, from your perspective?

Typically a joke or a sense of humor – to make sure that every associate starts off with a good feeling. The goal is to create a relaxed and fun state of mind, to support those that may have stress at home or other issues in their life; their workplace is an opportunity to focus on serving others and be a part of a happy team.

Understanding the personal lives of everyone within this process creates relationships as a fundamental part of the ‘work’ experience. I have confidence that my own hotel management company cares about employees so I’m inspired to show I care, too.

“Huberth brings out the best in his people. He is able to combine a playful yet professional approach when working with staff members, which has resulted in a very unique & upbeat culture at his hotel.”
~Joe Deutschman, Regional Director of Operations

If you were moving up the ranks and training your replacement, what are some words of wisdom you’d bestow upon your trainee on being a successful hotel GM?

First thing is to be aware that you’re dealing with human beings. The numbers and performance of your hotel is directly linked to the knowledge you have of your employees.

Every employee has a different way of thinking. After understanding how they think and work, then your communication style will enable them to follow you.

What qualities do you look for when hiring for your team?

An authentic smile, first and foremost.

Before even looking at professional experience, I’m looking for a passion somewhere inside of this person that can be leveraged in their role. Once I see that spark, then the other questions fall into place. I want to determine if the person is looking for a paycheck or is looking for service.

I didn’t come here to impose my style, I came here to enhance THEIR [the employee’s] style.

RAPID FIRE ROUND:

Beatles or Stones? STONES

Nickname growing up? Flaco [which means ‘skinny’ in my native language]

Is your Netflix account Streaming or DVD? Streaming

Favorite sandwich? Italian sandwich

One part of your morning routine you can’t start your day without… Ironing my shirt!

Words of wisdom you’d give to your 16 year old self? From my grandmother: Always help people – do to others as you would have done to you.

More From the Blog

GM Spotlight: Brandon Jemison TownePlace Suites

Welcome to our GM Spotlight Series! This is an opportunity for you to meet the rockstars playing the hits at our various hotels throughout the western United States. Here’s a few insightful questions aimed at revealing just how we pull off our Mission: ‘Crafting...

GM Spotlight: TJ Gibson SpringHill Suites

Welcome to our GM Spotlight Series! This is an opportunity for you to meet the rockstars playing the hits at our various hotels throughout the western United States. Here’s a few insightful questions aimed at revealing just how we pull off our Mission: ‘Crafting...

How My eCommerce Strategy Changed After Visiting Each of Our Hotels

By: Maria Lynch, Corporate eCommerce Manager Only days before hitting my two-year mark with Twenty Four Seven Hotels, I had finally visited each of our 18 properties. This is a unicorn achievement for your typical eCommerce Manager - often remote and overloaded - but...

GM Spotlight: Kelly Dickson

Welcome to our GM Spotlight Series! This is an opportunity for you to meet the rockstars playing the hits at our various hotels throughout the western United States. Here’s a few insightful questions aimed at revealing just how we pull off our Mission: ‘Crafting...

GM Spotlight: Karen Weinkauf

Welcome to our GM Spotlight Series! This is an opportunity for you to meet the rockstars playing the hits at our various hotels throughout the western United States. Here's a few insightful questions aimed at revealing just how we pull off our Mission: 'Crafting...

Teamwork: A Sales & Marketing Competitive Advantage

by Hannah Huse, Regional Director of Sales In today’s market, especially in locations heavily saturated with hotel options, it can be easy to fall into the trap of being so focused on driving hotel revenue growth and shifting share, that an organization loses sight of...

Teresa Weinstein Receives Top Honors as GM of the Year

Welcome to our GM Spotlight Series! This is an opportunity for you to meet the rockstars playing the hits at our various hotels throughout the western United States. Here’s a few insightful questions aimed at revealing just how we pull off our Mission: ‘Crafting...

Meet Our Rockstars of 2017

General Managers, Directors of Sales and Corporate team members gathered at our Marriott Residence Inn / Courtyard dual campus in Palm Desert, CA last month for our annual conference - an event we titled: Come Together: The Desert Sessions. Providing a "Kick-Ass Guest...

Exploring the Software Cosmos as an Adaptive Hotel Revenue Manager

By: Emily Grover and Kyle Street, Corporate Revenue Managers A common hurdle in today’s hotel revenue management world is adapting to new systems. This includes Marriott’s newest rollout of its revenue management platform, One Yield Version 2**. Over the course of two...

Immersive Styling: Function Meets Interaction

The lifestyle segment transforms guest expectations into travel experiences.By Bill Swank, Jr. | President, Development & ConstructionThe lodging industry not that long ago was fixated on the demographic shift to attract Millennials, whose tastes and behaviors...

Why Innovative Collaboration Brings Better Bottom Lines:

Bridging the Gap Between Finance and Other Departments By Ramy Abdelmalak | Corporate Controller When sales and operational teams encounter finance teams, it can feel like unknown territory. While the goal of each department is the same – to optimize property...

Guest Interaction in the Mobile Age

Social Media Tips for Select-Service Hotels In 140 Characters or Less. By Alison Sansone | VP of Marketing & Communications When it comes to social media, unlike sweatpants, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. This is especially true when it comes to the...

How to Empower Your Sales Force through a Skilled Leader

By: Cassidi Haskell, Area Director of Sales A strong sales team is what sets an accomplished, well-established hotel apart from the competition. An effective sales manager will support your hotel and guide his or her sales team in the right direction. In order to...

Meet Our 2016 Rockstars

We love music. And we love the hard-working managers behind the "Kick-Ass Guest Experiences" at our hotels, too. That's why we crafted awards fit for a Rockstar at our first annual Awards Dinner. Congratulations to all the award winners in the photo gallery below....

Budget Enlightenment: Key Components to a Zen End to the Fiscal Year

By: Samuel Grant, VP of Finance The year is quickly coming to a close, which means it’s that time again – creating the annual operating budget. By its nature, budgeting is a very slow process, so attempting to complete the full annual operating plan in a short amount...

Recap of The Lodging Conference 2016

As a sponsor of The Lodging Conference, we're aligning with the best of the best in hospitality to keep a pulse on the travel industry from a 'deal' perspective. Our interests have always started with Investment strategy, then our team is fully equipped to provide...

Fueling Your Bottom Line Through Better Guest Experiences

Q&A with Twenty Four Seven Hotels’ Vice President of Operations Leesa Gibbons Ramp up ROI when you invest in your hotel’s team. By providing valuable skills to your employees, you’ll pass on the benefits to your guests - further maximizing your hotel’s revenue and...

The Profile of a Modern-Day Hotel Management Company

A carefully crafted strategy on the why, what and where of a hotel investment helps to tee up the investor’s acquisition criteria - whether new development or existing property. Understanding both short and long term hotel investment goals drives strategies such as...

MOXY Grand Opening Event

The first U.S. Moxy held a Grand Opening Celebration on April 25th, 2016. Couldn't make the event? No worries, the photo gallery here will give you a feel for the festivities - featuring our very own fashion show runway for the timing of Phoenix Fashion Week! (click...