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’.

Teresa Weinstein Awarded ‘General Manager of the Year’ – Comfort Suites Hotel – Ontario, California

By Alison Sansone, VP of Marketing and Communications

Teresa Weinstein is the first GM in our ‘Spotlight Series’. Recently awarded ‘GM of the Year’ here at Twenty Four Seven Hotels, she is described by those that have worked with her as: authentic, hard-working and agile.

In her first position as Front Office Manager at TownePlace Suites Anaheim, she was sponge-like – soaking up anything and everything she could learn. And anything she couldn’t learn on the fly, she made up for in the qualities that are just in her nature. “It’s her fortitude, willingness, patience and a great deal of sweat equity that helped her earn her first General Manager role at the Comfort Suites Ontario.” explains Leesa Gibbons, Director of People Resources.

Liz Gomez honored as Associate of the Year 2017 for Twenty Four Seven Hotels, pictured with Comfort Suites Ontario General Manager, Teresa Weinstein.

Liz Gomez honored as Associate of the Year 2017 for Twenty Four Seven Hotels, pictured with Comfort Suites Ontario General Manager, Teresa Weinstein.

Her agility shines through when she works front desk shifts, then helps to close a sale with a corporate client and stands in as the housekeeping team leader for the morning then still manages to complete her GM responsibilities on time.

The fact that the Associate of the Year Award winner, Liz Gomez, works at her hotel also proves her leadership prowess.
We sat down with Teresa to understand how she approaches her role, firsthand.

 

 

 

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

I’m afraid it’s not super interesting and may not even be recognizable to ‘people of a certain age’ in hospitality today. I started as the PBX Operator at the Holiday Inn Brentwood Belair – right out of high school.

For you young folks out there, PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. For a hotel, it’s the communication hub for incoming calls and someone – errr…some device, in today’s day and age, ensures that call gets to the right person within the hotel or facility.
Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine character, from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, is the classic depiction of a phone operator in the early days – long before Teresa’s role at the Holiday Inn. View Ernestine >>

What’s the best comment you ever received from a guest (as GM or associate)?

We had a family staying at Anaheim TownePlace Suites that was visiting the area to receive healthcare treatments for their daughter, who was under age 10. My team would put Disney toys and snacks in her room throughout the couple of weeks they were in the hotel.

I recall the morning they checked out, the parents were very emotional in expressing their gratitude for the positive impact the hotel had on their daughter, considering the rough experience she was having with her medical condition. In fact, they’ve maintained contact with me over the years – I just received a birthday card from them with the message “Thank you for being there for us.” From my perspective, there’s almost a sense of being ‘family’ due to that type of encounter.

Tell us one particular thing you’re doing right now to improve your guest service [score]s:

It’s what I do daily, just being ‘real’ with guests, constantly interacting and not out of service protocol. Encountering each guest in the moment, asking how breakfast is, how their day is going, how their room is – it’s the only way to really start a conversation and see where it leads.

Creating guest encounters leads to guest experiences for me, which feels like more than just delivering guest services. The more positive experiences I can have with those encounters, the more motivated I am to start another conversation and so on.

“Clean, clean, clean. That’s just what it feels like when you visit Teresa’s hotel. Every time.”
~Greg Williams, Reg. Director of Operations

What is the best technology platform in your stack that you can’t live without?

Quore – because it is a great communication tool. I know exactly what’s going on at my hotel 24/7.

Choose your management style:

1. Iron Man/Tony Stark, 2. Mother Theresa, or 3. Bill Murray.

If Bill Murray and Mother Theresa were to have a child, I think that would probably be my archetype.

On the one hand, laughing is often how we get through the day so I try to create that type of experience for my team – resembling Mr. Bill Murray. On the other hand, when the going gets tough and it’s hard to laugh, you just roll up your sleeves and work side by side with them. Not being afraid to face the ‘not so fun’ situations is key for being empathetic – a wonderful quality we know from Mother Theresa.

” Calm, cool and collected. Three traits of a strong leader and Teresa embodies all three.”

~JANET FIORITI, VP of Operations

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

I go from ‘Dance party’ to ‘Joking’, depending on the day.

The Monday after our company conference, the song ‘Celebrate’ was cranked up in the breakroom. Most other standups will end with a game called “Ha-ha, hee-hee, ho-ho”. Standing in a circle, one person starts by saying out loud: “Ha-ha”, then the next person says “hee-hee” and so on. If you laugh, you’re out and the last person ‘standing’ wins.

My team has gotten pretty good at it, so we had to add a ‘smile clause’ into the game to achieve elimination. Even if it’s not your turn, you’re out.

The intention is for my team to understand the positive impact that even just a smile can have on the start of your day.

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

Stay the course. I’ve found that helps in good times and bad times. At any point you’re pushing through.

And take care of your staff – they are what makes the hotel sparkle. Start with them, be there for them, and everything else falls into place. It’s contagious.

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

Outgoing, talkative, smiley individual. That friendly, positive ‘essence’ of a personality is far more valuable to me than prior job experience.

As for Teresa’s ‘essence’ and hire-ability, Janet Fioriti further affirms the value of her position when she explains “Teresa is a gem. Guests, employees, peers and owners, everyone she touches feels her warmth, and her genuine caring.”

Teresa Weinstein awarded General Manager of the Year, with Greg Williams, Regional Director of Operations; Janet Fioriti, VP of Operations; and David Wani, CEO.

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...

GM Spotlight: Huberth Escobar

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...

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...