Marvin Morris, General Manager, Economy Hotel Memphis
Our next Employee Spotlight shines extra bright on a dedicated member of our team who is also a dedicated member of his local community.
Marvin Morris, Area Manager for Memphis, has seen many dark days before that light beamed. At the tender age of only 13 years old, he lost his 16-year old brother to a shooting incident.
Yet he somehow managed to turn that experience around and became determined to succeed. A few years later, Morris became the first one in his family to go to college on a full scholarship. Then, after also accepting an army scholarship, he won various awards for military service.
For Morris, the military fulfilled his passion to serve his country. Consequently, this experience also inspired him to continue serving his local community. "Whatever I could do to defer people from experiencing loss and not having family support, that's what motivates me," explains Morris.
Since then, Morris has worked and/or volunteered for non-profit organizations. Last year, for example, he joined Urban Connected Atlanta, a non-profit that feeds over 300 families per month.
His background and experience caught the eye of Ron Davis, Vice President of HR. Soon thereafter, Morris was recruited for the role of General Manager at Economy Hotel Atlanta in July, and then transferred to Area Manager for Memphis in October.
"He motivates and mentors our guests and employees," said Davis. "He's an advocate for the people and inspires them to be a better version of themselves."
Morris confirms that his passion to serve the community and career aspirations continue to align. "It's a big deal knowing that you're helping people achieve sustainability, where housing is one of the least of their concerns," said Morris.
In his spare time, one can find Morris continuing to serve with Urban Connected in southeast Atlanta, finding joy in bringing nourishment, mentorship, and dignity to those who often fall short of the bare essentials, such as food and security.
Edison Montes, Virtual Assistant, Corporate Headquarters
Our next Employee Spotlight shines on a young starling who started working for Stablegold Hospitality (SGH) a few months ago. Edison Montes, 27-years-old, is SGH's first full-time Virtual Assistant (VA) based out of the Philippines!
While growing up, Montes watched how keen his brothers were to gain an education, with all of them studying abroad, and then gained a competitive streak of his own. When he became a young adult, his ambitious spirit led him to participate in global mechanical engineering competitions sponsored by Shell, where he was tasked with designing and building a futuristic electric vehicle from scratch. He continues pursuing his passion for Mechanical Engineering by completing his Masters Degree in this field.
Montes finds that working as a VA allows him to continue his education and bring his engineering talents to the job. For example, he recently found a way to save SGH eight hours of manual labor, per day, by automating its daily advertising.
"He's also working on automating metrics and text messages for our clients," said Jasmin Dossani, SGH Sales and Marketing Manager. "There has been a positive outcome with whatever I or Ali or Ron has thrown at him; he's been an amazing addition to the company."
What he loves about being a VA in general is the flexibility it offers. Night time hours for SGH, for example, are day time hours for him, which allows him to provide front desk telephone coverage for all our hotels after hours.
On the job, Montes also appreciates learning the real world lessons that a formal education can't teach him. "I've learned there's a big difference between management and leadership," said Montes. "Being a good manager means you are closely monitoring services and operations and being hands-on. Strong leaders, on the other hand, are also strong visionaries. Solely focusing on that vision distracts us from producing the product or service we want to offer."
Montes is determined to become both a good manager and leader. His own five year vision has him continuing to work as a VA while starting up a side business that designs Software as a Service (SAAS) solutions to benefit all his clients.
June 2022 Quarterly Spotlight
David Williams, General Manager, Economy Hotel Forest Park
Our next Quarterly Employee Spotlight is on someone who knows the meaning of endurance!
David Williams, General Manager of Economy Hotel Forest Park, has seen what the dim side of an economic recession looks like.
He moved to Georgia (GA) in 2016 hoping for better prospects after the recession in the north led to him being laid off by his former employer.
He was told he had a new job lined up for him in GA, and all he needed to do was move. Once he relocated, he was advised the position was no longer available.
For the next three months, Williams would get up every day at 7am and keep applying for jobs. On average, he attended three interviews per week; however no job offers came in.
"It becomes quite discouraging. You try to stay hopeful and put out your best, yet no one is calling back. "
Finally, after months of not letting up, Williams caught a break and was hired by a credit union in Georgia. Three years later he was hired at Economy Hotel Forest Park as a Front Desk Supervisor. The resilience he learned during his period of unemployment became an asset; so much so that he was promoted to Assistant General Manager at Glenwood two years later, then promoted again to General Manager of Forest Park in May of this year.
Area Manager Roger Sawant is very proud to have Williams on his team. "David knows that customer service and revenue are our top priorities, and balances them well." said Sawant.
Williams believes that it was his dark days of unemployment that now helps him empathize with the hotels' clientele. "I understand why they're angry or depressed. They can't do what they want to do. They've made mistakes and can't move forward because the system works against them in many ways," said Williams. "I always tell them to hang in there; they've got a better day coming."
March 2022 Quarterly Spotlight
Skylar Jones, Front Desk, Economy Hotel Memphis
Our next Quarterly Customer Spotlight shines on Skylar Jones, a young lady who joined the Front Desk team at Economy Hotel Memphis soon after it opened in 2020.
Jones is well known for her commitment to getting the job done right, said Courtney Dukes, GM for the hotel.
To help us get to know this ardent worker a little better, here's a sneak peak at some of Jones' faves - both personally and professionally!
1. What is your favorite aspect of working for Economy Hotel Memphis?
Being able to see growth and being a part of it. I came to Economy Hotel Memphis a month after it opened. Just seeing how far we have come with renovations and getting our hotel in order makes me proud.
2. What team accomplishment at Economy Hotel Memphis makes you the proudest?
Our ability to work together and alongside of each other daily. Every department is helping each other out and accomplishing whatever goal it is we set from day to day.
3. What personal accomplishment at Economy Hotel Memphis make you the proudest?
I've learned my environment and guest needs well enough to be productive day to day, shift to shift.
4. If you were a student looking for a teacher, which staff member at Economy Hotel, management or otherwise, would you choose and why?
I would most likely choose Ms. Courtney. She reassures us daily that although she's our manager, she's also working alongside of us. She delegates us tasks and shows us several ways to get them done. When problems come about, she goes out of her way to give answers or solutions no matter how far up in ranks she must go.
5.Why is your favorite Economy Hotel guest your 'favorite' guest?
Mr. X is a guest who has been with us since we started here. Between the change in leadership and the renovations going on throughout the hotel, he helps us see things from not only the business view, but our guests view as well. And with the different problems we deal with daily here at the hotel, he reminds me that no matter my job title or description, I still deserve to be treated kindly, as a human being.
6.If you could have dinner with any real person, dead or alive, who and why?
My aunt who died from COVID May of 2020. Just to talk with her on the many things that have happened since she passed. I would love to see her face knowing that I've started a family now, I'm in school and kept a job longer than a few months. Just to let her know that her and my mom did a great job raising me and my siblings.
7.What's your favorite word in the English language, and why?
Compromise. It simply means acknowledging, understanding, and meeting each other halfway. Everything could work because of it. Compromising or simply having the will to compromise will take you far in this company and just life in general.
8. When you're at karaoke, what's your favorite song to sing and why?
I don't usually have a specific song but a specific artist, which is Keyshia Cole. Any mood you're in or situation you're dealing with, she had a song perfect for it.
9. What were your favorite fads from when you were a kid and why?
Butterfly hair clips and necklace chockers. I always have embraced my girly side, and my mom was big on keeping our hair done. So naturally anything I thought enhanced my outfit or hairstyle, I fell in love with!
10. Who is your favorite TV/movie character and why?
Victoria on Station 19. Despite losing people she loves
unexpectedly, she manages to continue day after day, shift after shift.
She really enjoys life! And even while being the "average" team member / fire fighter, she manages to shine and bring change to her team and station.
December 2021 Quarterly Spotlight
Donica Davis, PR Foundations Manager, Corporate Office
Our next Employee Spotlight is on a team member who's role embodies a core part of Stablegold Hospitality's vision - giving back. As the PR Foundations Manager, Donica Davis is amplifying SGH community outreach to a whole new level!
Davis comes from an exciting background in media and community relations. Her previous gig was with WJBF news station in Atlanta Georgia as their Marketing Assistant Manager, where she worked on similar initiatives such as event planning and community drives.
Community service has been an underlying theme throughout her career, which started with Donica's first job at Hertz Rent A Car. "I find them so much like SGH because they have a strong focus on customer service," said Davis. "Jobs like these teach us about how to build relationships with the customer; how to keep a bond, be trustworthy, stay optimistic."
SGH CEO Ali Jamal observes Davis has a passion for helping those less fortunate, and goes on to explain how it was a major selling point with her recruitment. "Helping others is an essential part of what we do," said Jamal. "Donica's empathetic approach towards our customers helps us ensure we give them a hand up through initiatives that can be life changing for them."
Davis is also appreciative of other core business skills that her role exposes her to, such as the art of negotiation. As a recent example, Davis was required to negotiate more time for planning our annual Top Golf event. It was a tough task for Davis as the venue owners were insisting on holding the event earlier, yet she was able to help them understand that, sometimes, planning for perfection takes time. "Once we did get extra time for planning, we were able to prepare additional swag, food, gift cards, and so much more, which gives everyone a much better experience," explains Davis.
When she's not busy working on events for SGH, Davis also likes to attend events of her own, especially if it's with her son Vacaro. Don't be surprised if you catch them petting goats at Zoo Atlanta or gobbling up some lobster mac n' cheese at Poor Calvin's.
Paul Thornton, General Manager, Economy Hotel Covington
Our next Employee's Spotlight of the Month is on someone with a true passion for hospitality, Paul Thornton, General Manager at Economy Hotel Covington.
Although he graduated with a Masters in Criminology, he enjoyed the side gigs that put him through college much more then he enjoys working in the field. Those side gigs were primarily in retail management, such as restaurants and movie theatres, where he got more of a chance to socialize with people.
He also tried working in the field of criminology at a mental health facility, however when he saw the ad for an Assistant General Manager (AGM) at Economy Hotel Memphis, his true passion for people came calling again. Thornton landed the AGM role shortly after his interview, and performed so well that he got promoted to General Manager at a newly acquired location in Covington Tennessee in May.
What he likes most about his new role is how, at times, it requires him to wear multiple hats. Thornton believes the situation has helped him master one of Stablegold Hospitality's core values - continuous self-improvement. "I don't have someone here to help me out at every hour, which pushes me to train, coach, and motivate myself to do what needs to be done on my own, and on time," explains Thornton.
Area Manager Courtney Dukes confirms Thornton is always "eager to learn and improve," and is someone with "a personality that blends into any ecosystem."
Moving from the city where he grew up to a small town where he didn't know anyone certainly pushed Thornton to discover a new ecosystem that he needed to blend into. He believes living on site at the hotel has really helped him to embrace the small town experience.
"It's a great town, and a different culture from Memphis Tennessee," said Thornton. "No matter where I go - Walmart, Wendy's - everyone knows my name and where I work. You meet people way faster."
Opportunities for new experiences and professional growth appear to keep our GM in gratitude mode and well deserving of a spotlight. "My role means a lot to me, I don't take it for granted," said Thornton. "I've searched high and low for something that's challenging and rewarding, where I also feel safe and valued."
Courtney Dukes, General Manager, Economy Hotel Marietta
Our next Employee Spotlight of the month is on a young lady who knows exactly what she wants! Courtney Dukes, General Manager for Economy Hotel Marietta fell in love with the hospitality industry at a very young age.
Her first job, at 16-years old, was front desk at a franchise hotel in Mississippi Alabama, where she was born and raised. She knew right there and then that the hospitality industry was for her. "I like people and being able to communicate with them, especially in our segment. A lot people just need someone to talk to," said Dukes.
Straight out of college, after studying business, she moved to Nashville Tennessee for an opportunity as GM with the same franchise. In 2018, she landed another GM role with Economy Hotel Atlanta, and then later got promoted to GM for Economy Hotel Marietta.
One reason she decided to make a move was because she enjoys the diversity among and equal opportunity provided to staff. "Stablegold Hospitality is a melting pot to me. I look at it like the city of San Francisco - it has all walks of life. We have the LGBT community, black/white, older/younger, foreign/home grown," said Dukes. "We simply can not be anymore diverse!"
She respects how all staff are given the same opportunities to succeed, regardless of their background or experience. "Only you can set yourself up for failure with us," said Dukes.
Dukes loves how SGH's mantra of equal opportunity spreads over to its customer base like a warm, comforting blanket, wanting to ease the discrimination they were likely dealt before walking through the front door of Economy Hotel.
EOS Integrator Ron Davis admires Dukes' passion for customer service. "She knows how to relate to our guests," said Davis. "She uses humor and personal experience to completely dissolve any troubling guest situations. Guests who may have had an issue previously will soon walk away smiling and laughing after speaking to Courtney."
"Everyday, I convey to our staff that we deal with a different client base. They're facing hardship and come to us for hope. It's a beautiful thing we're here," said Dukes.
Danu Lane, Front Desk, Economy Hotel Roswell
This month's Employee Spotlight is on one of our newest team members, Danu Lane, who has joined us on Front Desk at Economy Hotel Roswell.
Only four months into the job, Lane is known for showing major initiative by learning about tasks outside her current role.
"She's always eager to learn new stuff and has a lot of potential," explained Area Manager Roger Sawant. "She has great customer service skills. I get good feedback from all our guests. She even checks all the rooms for maintenance and ensures we get all necessary sign-offs."
Learning new things comes as easy as pie to Lane. Her list of hobbies is gargantuan, with everything from sword fighting, goat yoga, portrait painting and 3D skin mapping on it - just to name a few.
She first got to quench her creative mind while completing a college degree in Special Effects and Management for Elegance International School in Hollywood approximately 10 years ago. Since then, she tackled a few exciting side hustles working as the Arts Department Manager on independent film sets, coordinating set design / lighting / costume / makeup.
For now though, Lane is solely focused on her new role and transferring all the great customer service skills learned while working at previous jobs, over to it. "There's a few basics to customer service that never change," explains Lane:
- "People are people, they make mistakes and so do we."
- "We never know what they've been through before they walk through our door."
- "If we put our best foot forward, we're never failing anyone."
Seems this 'newbie' has a wealth of experience to enrich our guests' extended stay!
Donovan Wilson, Assistant General Manager, Economy Hotel Atlanta
Today we're going to learn about who is behind some of those fantastic performance scores at Economy Hotel Atlanta as this individual is also our next Employee Spotlight of the month! Introducing our rockstar Assistant General Manager, Donovan Wilson.
Soon after graduating from college, Wilson moved to Atlanta from Jacksonville, Alabama in 2018. Having studied Business Management with an HR focus, he was keen to utilize his fresh tool set of skills in the real world. The first job he found in Atlanta was in sales, which didn't allow him to do this too often. That's when he decided to apply for his current position with Economy Hotel Atlanta as AGM in 2019.
Two years into his first managerial role, Wilson is indeed happy with being able to put his knowledge of business management and human resources into practice. "I'm more engaged in decision making, payroll, and the full cycle of hiring," explains Wilson. "I also have more say on the policies that impact our support staff, which is important to me."
Area Manager Queen Booth believes Wilson is one of our "top managers on the admin side," citing some of his key strengths such as onboarding, chargebacks, and presentations. She also believes his contribution was essential while backfilling for the GM role since February. "That introduced him to a key leadership role; he really stepped up to the plate," said Booth. Wilson was commended for keeping up with daily inspections, managing all maintenance issues, and quickly responding to emergencies outside of his regular shift hours. "He never missed a beat!" said Booth.
Now that a new GM has been hired at Economy Hotel Atlanta and the weather is getting better, Wilson hopes to spend more time on his hobbies like hiking. His most recent hike was at Cheaha State Park in Alabama. Next up is Silver Comet Trail near Marietta.
Ryan Pearlman, Business Development Manager, Corporate Office
Our next Employee Spotlight of the Month is on Stablegold Hospitality's Business Development Manager Ryan Pearlman, one of our youngest employees to date! In fact, multiple congrats are in order as he also just graduated from Florida State University's Real Estate BSc program.
Last year, Pearlman met our CEO, Ali Jamal, through a networking opportunity. Jamal was immediately impressed and granted him a 4-month internship. He then joined our team full-time in September.
Pearlman moved to Atlanta seven years ago with his parents when his dad got an exciting job opportunity in the construction business. Pearlman's love for real estate came from watching his dad build "big buildings" while growing up in North Carolina.
Yet real estate is only his most recent focus. From the tender age of 12 years old, our new grad has defied the self-entitlement label that GenZ's are often slammed with by using his incredible knack for innovation to establish himself as a young entrepreneur. Here's a sneak peak at just a few of the brilliant ideas he manifested over the past 20 years:
- 12 yrs old - established a private company to sell Ball Pythons, a designer breed of snakes, after carefully studying their genetics, learning how to breed them, and somehow convincing his mom to keep them in the house!
- 16 yrs old - established Southern Tackle Clothing, a t-shirt brand that he sells through word of mouth and social media
- 20 yrs old - co-founded Steam Energy, a company that produces vending machines with e-Cigarettes that are now found in bars/clubs throughout Florida
EOS Integrator Ron Davis believes Pearlman has solidified his passion for real estate while working at SGH. "His passion shows in his willingness to take on any project related to property management / asset allocation / inspections, etc," explains Davis. "In addition, very soon after he is exposed, he's excellent at delivery and execution, every single time."
The company atmosphere also seems to be helping Pearlman achieve his career goals. "Everyone is always in a good mood and management trusts us to do our jobs," said Pearlman. "I love it here. I get inspired by others."
Jasmin Dossani, Sales & Marketing Administrator, Corporate Office
SGH Sales and Marketing Administrator Jasmin Dossani came to Atlanta from India 13 years ago with her former husband. Like most newcomers, she had vivid dreams of establishing a happy home with her family and achieving career growth.
While in India, Dossani worked in the TV industry. Once she got settled in Atlanta, however, she learned it would be challenging to maintain the same career path. She soon found herself working for fast food joints and doing internships to gain more experience. Eventually she was connected with our CEO Ali Jamal, through networking opportunities, approximately 1.5 years ago. Since that time, Dossani's career growth has taken off exponentially.
Yet it hasn't all been fun and games for Dossani who, now as a single mom going through a divorce, is facing her own personal struggles. Amazingly however, she manages to stay motivated and continues to accelerate her career path.
"Month in and month out, Jasmin works hard to hit her sales targets and has made a tremendous impact on the bottom line of our organization," said SGH CEO Ali Jamal. "Over and above that, her 'can-do' positive attitude is infectious. She motivates her team members to keep reaching for their career-related goals."
"I'm exactly where I want to be," said Dossani, who gains her motivation from everyday communication with our valued guests. "I've spoken to customers who are also going through divorce, and they're also jobless, or maybe almost homeless. That gives me the push I need to move forward with the opportunity that I have and tell myself 'let's just do this!' "
After working the daily 9-5 grind, you might find Dossani enjoying some quality time with her 13-year old daughter eating delicious pasta at Divan restaurant or hanging out at Stone Mountain.
Nancy Denbrook, Office Manager, Corporate Office
She started working for Stablegold Hospitality in June, and appears to enjoy it more and more with each passing month. Denbrook thanks the work environment, and the people that make it one of the most upbeat, positive, and motivational work places she has ever experienced.
"I'm not used to it! There's always such an up feeling with everyone here," said Denbrook. "Everyday I see people getting recognized for their efforts, their hard work, their loyalty. I actually look forward to coming in to work every day."
Denbrook explains that the negativity she experienced in previous work environments has helped her see the value in working at SGH.
Management believes that Denbrook brings a whole lot of value to the table, herself. "Nancy brings years of admin experience to SGH so she's always up for any challenge," said HR Manager Shaba Jamal. "Her can-do attitude, cheerfulness, and loyalty fits our team perfectly."
During her off time, one might find Denbrook enjoying dinner with friends at her favorite restaurant Frontera, walking the dog, or cozying up with a good book.
Randy Stevens, GM, Economy Hotel Minot / Grafton
Prior to his stint with Stablegold Hospitality, which only started last year, Stevens had plenty of experience running motels in Jamestown N.D for four years. He also owned his own bar and grill, and managed a few country clubs. Interesting to note that much of his management experience came after retirement!
Stevens tried out the retired life with his wife in the year 2000, and soon realized it wasn't for him, especially after having worked on his family farm for so many years. Hard work was now ingrained in his psyche. His family owned farmland in N.D. since the 1800's, however his father decided his family would no longer work on the land in 1989, after the government started regulations that he couldn't reconcile with.
Stevens has fond memories of working 16 hour shifts as early as 7 years old, mowing the fields and then joining his dad in the shop. During the off seasons, he enjoyed his snowmobiles, motorcycles, and fishing trips by their cabin near Red Willow Lake.
Area Manager Lisa Hollomon can see how all of Steven's work experience transfers compliments his new role in a major way.
"He goes and grabs the business, he doesn't wait for it to come to him. In Grafton, for example, he speaks to every business owner every single day," said Hollomon. "He even goes to work sites to find new customers and pull them in. I wish we had more Randy's in this world!"
Steven's loves the family atmosphere at the hotel, which is comforting after having lost his wife to cancer in 2005. Yet he doesn't let that get in the way of using sound judgement when operating the hotel. "We need to be nice, yet firm," explains Stevens in reference to the challenges he sometimes faces with clientele. "But I understand they're just having a tough time in life, and that's why they're there. There's good in all of them."
Nakeisha Palmer, GM, Economy Hotel Macon
And thus, January's spotlight is on Nakeisha Palmer, recently promoted to General Manager at Economy Hotel Macon! Palmer started working with Stablegold Hospitality (SGH) in June at Economy Hotel Marietta as Area General Manager, and was then transferred over to our Macon location in September.
Palmer's past work experience compliments the role perfectly. She worked for the marine core for four years straight out of high school, and then as a drug rehabilitation counsellor before making her way into the hospitality industry. She started working at various franchise hotels, making her way up to supervisory level.
Her advice to our newbies on Front Desk is to listen to our customers. "When they come to us with problems, sometimes it just takes two seconds to try and hear what our guests want to say, and most times they end up solving their own problems while they're talking to us," said Palmer.
When problem solving is in the hands of our staff, however, she believes patience and persistence are key, especially for those looking to make a vertical move in their career path. "Make every effort to solve the problem. Be patient, put in the work, and you can definitely get promoted," said Palmer.
SGH CEO Ali Jamal agrees that when it comes to getting promoted, Palmer brings all the right stuff to the table. "Her willingness to share how the property (and its staff) can execute improvements has been tremendous, " said Jamal. "Her dedication and customer service skills has put Macon on track to hit its revenue goals and ensure customer satisfaction at the same time."
In her off time, as a stress reliever, Nakeisha loves to ride her motorcycles. She used to own a Kawasaki, which she rode all up and down the 95 - through Marilyn, Atlanta, Alabama, New York, and Tennessee, to name a few. Her new bike will be a Harley Davidson, which she also plans to put a lot of miles on.
Jennifer Chambliss, AGM, Economy Hotel Candler
Please join me in giving a virtual round of applause for our next Employee of the Month, who also won AGM of the Quarter, Jennifer Chambliss!
Having travelled to eight overseas countries and 12 states, we're excited to have Chambliss' perspective as a traveling guest applied to her everyday role.
Area Manager Queen Booth believes Chambliss' travels have given her the motivation to "accept any and all challenges." Chambliss relocation from Economy Hotel Glenwood to Economy Hotel Candler, situated in a much more challenging area, would be a testament to her predisposition for new experiences.
Readers can check out some of Chambliss favorite pictures from her travel diary below!
England: Left - Norwich Cathedral in Norwich City is a 900 yr old cathedral that was built by hand out of flint and mortar. The cathedral close has more people living in it than any other close. You may remember spotting in two famous films - Jack the Giant Slayer & The Stalls of Barchester. Right - The famous London Eye! Also known as the Millennial Wheel, this fun ride sits on the South Bank of the Thames River, attracting over 3 million tourists every year.
Puerto Rico: Left - San Juan City Hall nicely lit up. Right - Bartender mixing up the final touches on Bacardis being made at the Bacardi Factory in San Juan. This distillery is the largest rum factory in the world, and is embellished with colonial architecture of Old San Juan.
Bahamas: Every year, famous carnival bands along with scores of Bahamain arts and culture take to the streets of Nassau to light up the city with excitement. Chambliss has some amazing pictures of street performers with outfits that will blow your mind with their vibrant colors and beautiful Bahamain design.
Stephanie Hodo, Housekeeper, Economy Hotel Glenwood
Our next Employee of the Month was recently one of our Housekeeping Bonus Recipients, Stephanie Hodo at Economy Hotel Glenwood. Not bad for a newbie who started in September!
Hodo brings aboard a perfect skillset, which includes cleanliness and timeliness from her previous role at Chop Salad doing packaging. So far she seems to be enjoying the new gig. "I love it. It's easy, convenient, and I love my co-workers," said Hodo. Her favorite part of the job is putting a smile on customers' faces.
A few more fave's of our star Housekeeper, below:
- Favorite Food - Salad, keeps her strong and lean
- Favorite Movie - The Color Purple, Hodo likes the old classics with lots of meaning
- Favorite Actor - Whoopi Goldberg because she's real and always tells the truth
- Favorite Animal - All of them! Hodo has literally owned all of them - including an iguana, bird, snake, ten dogs, and five cats!
- Favorite Vacation - Jamaica, an obvious choice with it's beautiful people and paradise feel.
- Favorite Hobby - Jigsaw puzzles, and no fewer than 1000 pieces, please.
- Favorite Color - Blue, which reminds her of the sky & Purple which reminds her of royalty
- Favorite Song - Back to Sleep by Chris Brown
- Favorite Holiday - Easter, right around the corner to her birthday - double treat!
- Favorite Book - Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Just like a puzzle, it keeps you guessing.
If you happen to be on site at Economy Hotel Glenwood or Economy Hotel Candler where Hodo resides, remember to drop by and say hello to one of our newest team members!
Taiwan Miller, General Manager, Economy Hotel Airport
Our next Employee Spotlight is on Taiwan Miller, General Manager (GM) at Economy Hotel Airport. After Miller started with the company as Assistant General Manager in July 2019, it didn't take long for him to get noticed.
"Since he was hired as GM, there's been a very noticeable and welcomed change at Airport. The property is much more calm, and stays clean," said Area Manager Lisa Hollomon. "He also has a great relationship with his team," she added. "He has less turnover, staff wise, than any other EH property."
Miller apportions part of his accomplishments to the skills he has acquired on the job, such as time management and delegating tasks to a "dedicated and forthcoming team."
While his compatriots have been great to work with, Miller admits it hasn't always been easy interacting with some of the clientele. "I learned it takes patience," said Miller. "You get to meet lots of people from different walks of life who are transitioning from where they are now and want to move forward."
The other part can be explained by a very healthy outlook. Our GM (by day) has a secret side hustle as a Certified Nutrition Specialist. His solid background in nutrition recently led him to publish a new book currently sold on Amazon, called Pocket Smoothies.
He can even recommend the perfect morning menu for his fellow staff who need to be fully energized for dealing with all the hustle and bustle that is a part of our experience at Economy Hotel.
- A simple glass of fresh lemon water, at room temperature, to help energize one's liver, followed by:
- Papaya, high in antioxidants, added to one's favourite smoothy, alongside:
- Your heaviest meal for the day to be eaten as breakfast, which provides the best potential for a thorough calorie burn.
In a few years, Miller wants to expand his nutritional consulting practice to include life coaching.
Lisa Hollomon, Area Manager, South Atlanta and North Dakota
Lisa Hollomon first started her journey with Economy Hotel in 2014, coming in by referral through a former employee. She was a perfect fit for the role with her experience in property management, having worked at similar properties ever since she was a teenager. In fact, her first job was General Manager at the Efficiency Lodge in Carlton, Georgia, at only 19 years old, where her mom also worked prior.
Very much like her mom, Holloman had mounds of experience working with socio-economically challenged clientele. "We have pretty thick skin. Neither one of us has a fear of anything," admits Hollomon.
While working a range of different roles for Economy Hotel, perhaps one of her biggest successes was implementing the Property Performance Rating system (PPR). "Every two weeks, our teams are held accountable for the daily tasks they're responsible for," explains Hollomon. CEO Ali Jamal agrees Holloman has been "instrumental" in establishing "core processes that have propelled the company forward."
In her current role as the Area Manager for South Atlanta and North Dakota, she aims to be a good resource for new staff and management. "In order to succeed in this climate, it's important to be receptive to change," said Holloman. "It's a different business model, unlike many other hotel chains, but it's so much more fulfilling. You just got to share the vision."
In her spare time, Hollomon loves spending time with her two daughters, both of whom recently graduated from high school.
CJ Rose, General Manager, Economy Hotel Macon
This month's spotlight is on an employee who is celebrating his one year anniversary with Economy Hotel Macon, as General Manager. Incidentally, this year also brought Rose a number of life changing events that he graciously agreed to share with our readers.
"Working at Economy Hotel Macon has grown me in a lot of areas - mentally and emotionally. Our guests inspire me; a lot of them are just grateful to have a bed to sleep in. It teaches me to not to take life for granted."
Everything that I've done to better my life are due to my 12-yr career with hospitality and the joy I gain from meeting people from different cultures/backgrounds. The stories I heard from our own guests have triggered me to start up a mentoring agency called A Helping Hand in Macon. It will offer counselling, tutoring, employment assistance, help with college applications - all with the goal of keeping youth off the streets and changing their mentality.
I've also started a Facebook podcast called 'I Survived to Tell the Story' where, each month, a new guest shares their personal story.
I was born and raised in North Carolina but I moved to Atlanta to be closer to my mother. I also have three boys, two whom I adopted in April. My boys keep me busy and young!
I grew up without my biological father. It was a struggle, always seeking that love, help and mentorship. As I got older, my heart grew towards helping other children without that guidance. To be able to be a father, it has a different meaning for me. In April, an opportunity presented itself that allowed me to adopt two children, where their biological mom wouldn't entrust anyone other than me with their care. She, and my two new boys, came through at the right time.
To hear more invigorating stories like CJ's, check out his Facebook podcast. Simply search for the page entitled I Survived to Tell the Story, subscribe, sit back, listen, and be inspired!
Ron Davis, EOS Integrator, Economy Hotel
Rebecca Minnifield, General Manager, Economy Hotel Minot
Kerry Dungey, Maintenance, Economy Hotel Candler
"His work receives little to no complaints by his clients," said James Smith, GM for the Candler Event Hall. "He's a leader amongst the team, always willing to learn and making himself available to teach others."
Here's a sneak peak on some our new guy's faves:
Favourite Artists: Tupac & Billy Joel
Favourite TV Series: History Channel
Favourite Hobby: Fishing
Favourite Food: Everything!
Favourite Animal: Wolverine
Favourite Super Power: Super Strength
Likely Side Hustle: "Opening up a new restaurant"
Dontarius Jackson, Maintenance, Economy Hotel Candler
April's spotlight is on Dontarius Jackson, originally hired for Maintenance at Economy Hotel Candler in 2018, and ended up being the Jack-Of-All-Trades. Today, Jackson knows all about front desk operations house keeping, you name it!
He was nominated for Employee of the Month by Area Manager Ron Davis. "You can tell a lot about a person by their willingness to be a true team player," said Davis. "He's dedicated to helping out in any area and has no reservations pitching in."
What Jackson likes most about working at Economy Hotel is something we hear a lot of from staff and customers: "it's like family." said Jackson. "We're always looking out for each other, helping each other."
It really is all about family for Jackson, father to five kids with the youngest being one-years-old. When asked how he is coping with the Covid-19 crisis as one of our heroes on the front lines, Jackson explains "at the end of the day, I have a family to feed."
Jackson has grand plans for when the crisis is over, which includes taking a Caribbean cruise and plunging back into his hobby of interior painting.
Below, check out some of the AMAZING indoor wallscapes Jackson completed for previous clients.
Joel Ramirez, Maintenance, Economy Hotel Marietta
Our spotlight this month is on one of our favourite fixer uppers who has been with Stablegold Hospitality for 10 years! Joel Ramirez is the one receiving our distress calls any time something needs to be repaired or renovated.
"We really admire his craftsmanship." said Economy Hotel Marietta General Manager Tantina Dawson. "He really takes pride in everything he does, including the day to day operations."
1. Why be part of the SGH family?
I like working with my hands and taking pride in my finished work
2. What is Maintenance doing to help keep the hotel stable amidst the Covid-19 crisis?
Taking the necessary precautions by washing hands frequently and wearing gloves
3. Tell us about your family?
I have 1 daughter her name is Jacqueline and she goes to school in Mexico
4. Future goals?
Professionally, I would like to accomplish "Everything". Personally, I would like to move back to Mexico one day and be with my family.
5. How are you coping with the Covid-19 crisis.
Personally, I feel healthy, but I hope people are staying safe
6. What improvements has he seen in SGH over the years?
7. What's his favourite part of the job?
Keeping my hands busy by improving the rooms with flooring, painting, and other renovations.
Synthia Render, Front Desk, Economy Hotel Airport
She's relieved to see the changes that management has implemented over the years with respect to security. "A long time ago it was real loud and crazy," said Render.
Check out Synthia's bio learn some more about what our woman of the hour appreciates about life in general:
Favourite Movie: Set It Off
Favourite Artist: Keisha Cole
Favourite TV Series: House of Payne
Favourite Hobby: Working Out
Favourite Food: Pasta Salad
Favourite Colour: Purple
Favourite Restaurant: American Deli
Favourite Part of Working at SGH: "Working with everyone. We're like family!"
Geraldine Neal, Housekeeper, Economy Hotel Atlanta
While reminiscing over the past 3 decades, Neal shared her enthusiasm on how far the property has come along while undergoing four changes in management. Her current boss, SGH CEO Ali Jamal, has won her over.
"I love Ali," said Neal. "He shows love to his property. There's less crazy stuff like crime going on. The crime rate has gone tremendously down," said Neal. "He's more like a boss and a son to me."
Seven years ago, Neal introduced herself to Jamal by explaining she "comes with the property" and so there's "no way" he'll be letting her go. Jamal agreed and never looked back! "Mrs GG represents SGH core values through and through," said Jamal. "Her work ethic, integrity and loyalty is what makes her an amazing employee."
Mrs GG looks forward to helping out SGH guests each and every day. "I treat them like I want to be treated, with respect and courtesy," said Neal. "I take the time to listen to their problems and their needs. They look at me like a mother figure."
When she's not working, Neal spends time with her seven grandchildren and enjoying her favorite hobbies, like crocheting and reading.
Tantina Dawson, General Manager, Economy Hotel Marietta
James Smith, General Manager, Candler Event Hall
In honour of Veteran's month, Novembers' spotlight is on Candler Event Hall General Manager James Smith, who previously joined the US Army in 2005.
Two of his deployments were to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2006-2007 and 2009-2010. Smith served in the army for a total of eight years and received an honourable discharge after receiving the rank of Sergeant!
Batman n' Robin, Economy Hotel Atlanta
Who saves Gotham City? Batman and Robin! Who saves Economy Hotel Atlanta? Again, Batman and Robin!
This month's Employee(s) Spotlight presents our tag team General Manager Courtney Dukes and Assistant General Manager Andrew Moore, better known as Batman and Robin of the Stablegold Hospitality (SGH) community.
This dynamic duo was crowned with their notorious nickname after managing a crime sweep at Economy Hotel Atlanta in May. "They will not take this property from us, they will not win," Dukes recollects herself saying at the time. With the help of Moore, they unveiled and vacated almost fifty unwanted guests.
First, they executed a number of tactics to find out who the bad apples were. In addition to completing random inspections throughout the day, they figured out how to blend into the scene, acting as guests, and managed to compile a list of suspicious individuals.
As always, success came with a price. In this case, it was a $38K deficit on the books for Economy Hotel Atlanta. "The deficit happened after kicking out almost fifty guests involved with prostitution, drugs, or weapons. Many were unregistered," said Area Manager Roger Sawant. "It takes time to get out of that situation."
Sawant is stoked about having Moore at the property to backup Dukes. "When Andrew is there, I feel safe. He has a military background," explained Sawant.
One advantage that both Moore and Dukes share is their management experience at similar properties. Dukes, for example, has worked in nine states and 11 cities running hotels. "I've learned how to stand taller, stronger, and I know I won't be easily defeated!" said Dukes.
October's scorecards for Economy Hotel Atlanta prove her point with a nearly obliterated deficit. Holy Hi Fi, Batman!
Chris Barton, Maintenance Supervisor, Economy Hotel Macon
Last year, Barton was living in Milledgeville with his wife and three kids, when a series of tragic events brought him back to his born and bred city of Macon. After his mother passed away from cancer in 2017, their beautiful house in Milledgeville burnt to ashes from an electrical fire hazard.
It was all too easy for Barton slip into a depressed state of mind, however being a husband and father of three kids, who were now homeless, didn't allow him to stay there for very long.
"I knew I needed to save up as much money as possible," said Barton, who quickly got his resume on Indeed.com, and received a phone call from Stablegold Hospitality (SGH) soon after.
"They helped me get back on my feet, so I can take care of my family." said Barton. According to Operations Manager Lisa Hollomon, his recruitment has been a win-win for both Barton and SGH. "Chris is an asset, always willing to jump in and do whatever is needed. He's a great role model for our team members."
Since setting afoot at Economy Hotel Macon, Barton has managed to turn over 30 rooms in the last seven months.
Kevin Williams, Maintenance Manager, Economy Hotel, Glenwood
By day, he's the hard working, highly skilled maintenance man whom we all know; by night, he lights the LaGrange drag strip on fire!
Not only does he race these tight whips, he also builds their motors - from scratch. "I just love to make cars go fast," said Williams. "Our competitors know if you beat us, you're on the map. We've got good cars."
On his days off, you could find him in any state, riding with the Ellingwood Race Team. In August, his team rides out to Auburn Georgia, where he's expecting to compete with thousands of race car drivers from across the country, which will also be filmed for the hit reality TV series 'Street Outlaws.'
When Williams isn't tearing up the race track, he's working away on Maintenance at Economy Hotel Glenwood, and has been with the company since 2013. The
dedicated Falcons fan brings his talent for fine finishing into his home with
greenery and flowers that beautify his living space.
Will Taylor, Maintenance, Economy Hotel, Airport
This month's Employee Spotlight is on maintenance guru Will Taylor, who was recently recognized for doing a splendid job of turning over SIX rooms at Economy Hotel, Airport, in only one month. Six is Sick!
Taylor attributes the speedy turnaround time to years of experience on the property.
General Manager Sylvia Williams believes his dedication to self-improvement has benefited the entire team. "His continuous hands-on self-training helps the other groundskeepers learn all types of trades under his leadership," said Williams.
"He's committed. If anything happens at 1 AM or 2 AM in the morning, he goes and handles the situation without even clocking in," said CEO Ali Jamal. "That's really appreciated."
Taylor has been living on the property, currently known as Economy Hotel, Airport, since 2007 with his fiancé and 7-yr old son. He's impressed with the change he has seen to the property over the years.
"With the change in ownership, we've weeded out a lot of crime," said Taylor. "It's become more of a positive place. Working families are struggling, together, trying to get on their feet," said Taylor.
In addition to family, Taylor's muse is the unlikely combination of sports and horticulture. The dedicated Falcons fan brings his talent for fine finishing into his home with greenery and flowers that beautify his living space.
Queen booth, General Manager, Economy Hotel, Candler
This month’s Employee spotlight is on General Manager (GM) Queen Booth who divined her role in management to create a personal transformation.
Booth’s first role with Stablegold Hospitality (SGH) was as a Courtesy Officer at Economy Hotel, Candler, in 2015. The job was a great fit for her at the time as, prior to joining SGH she successfully completed other security gigs in Atlanta. It also suited her image.
“Ever since I was in school people said I didn’t look approachable, or like I didn’t want to be bothered,” said Booth. It was exactly that black/white, no if/ands/buts approach that Economy Hotel, Candler, required when it came to security.
Booth also proved to be effective in operations management, and after SGH outsourced security to a third party in 2016, she was offered the Assistant General Manager (AGM) position.
Personally, however, she didn’t feel ready. “There are higher expectations of a manager. You have to be a problem solver, keep all employees happy, and make sure everything is under control. Everything ends with me,” said Booth, who believed staff would not be happy with her rigid, black/white approach.
It took a little bit of convincing on the part of our GMs, and they succeeded. Booth worked well with her team to boost revenue and establish new processes. So well, in fact, that she was offered a GM role the following year. Booth admits that, soon after taking on the roll, it wasn't always smooth sailing.
“A lot of times I did fail. There’s a learning curve, but I’ve made a lot of progress with it,” said Booth. There were times she wanted to retreat. “Sometimes I wanted to go back to my old self and just shut down. I couldn’t do that as the manager, people need my help,” realized Booth.
She had to learn how to mentally battle the inner pandemonium quickly. A little coaching from CEO Ali Jamal supported her along the way.
“It helped me realize you have to talk to people more, take the time to understand what they’re saying. Now I understand why it’s important to really listen when people tell you their problems,” said Booth.
A mental shift was taking place with Booth, who started noticing changes in her daily interactions with staff. Even guests took notice of her new affability. “People were confiding in me the way they never would have before,” explained Booth.
Jamal can easily attest to her progress. "As soon as she harnessed her strength to have effective one-to-one conversations with her team, she was building solid relationships. I could see the results of a cohesive team running more efficient operations at the hotel."
This tale had an even happier ending when Booth met her current partner in 2017. “There’s no way I would have met her if I didn’t learn how to open up!” said Booth.
Monique Jones, General Manager, Economy Hotel, Atlanta
Jones is a Philadelphian-born American who moved to Atlanta at the meagre age of 16 years old, along with her adoptive mother, Pastor Sharon Dantzler.
As regular churchgoers, Jones' mom always got her involved in volunteering for community services such as food drives, vocational counselling, and assisting the ill.
"I learned how to relate to those who are struggling, especially with their health," said Jones. "There's so much more you can do besides preach or lecture to them."
In solidarity with SG's core values, as well as her own, Jones consistently looks for ways to put those teachings into practice.
"When I see one of our patrons struggling, I might give them advice or make calls on their behalf to assist with a job search, or even help out with paper work," said Jones.
SG Revenue Manager Roger Sawant vehemently attests to Jones' as one of SG's brightest community champions.
"Anyone needs any help, she jumps and goes out of her way to help them," said Sawant. "Anything you ask her, she does with a smile."
Michelle Eddiness, General Manager, Economy Hotel, Glenwood
Starting with Stablegold as a Housekeeper in 2013, Michelle was quickly promoted to Housekeeping Supervisor the following year, Front Desk Agent in 2015, General Assistant in 2016, and finally General Manager of Economy Hotel, Glenwood, in 2017. What’s remarkable about her swift career growth are the challenges she faced in the meanwhile, being a single mother of two adorable children since 2015.
“It’s really hard, especially here in Georgia where I have no family,” said Eddiness.
Fortunately, her two kids have been a heaven-sent. Daughter, Brooklyn, 10-years-old, already already knows how to cook healthy meals for the family, with rice and vegetables as her specialty. She also likes to cook breakfast eggs for her 8-year-old brother, Kevon.
Eddiness has a few other tools that help her manage the 9-5 grind, like meditation and drawing cartoons. “This way I don’t go ballistic with my kids!” said Eddiness.
As we can see from her career growth, it also helps her at work. “Time and again, Glenwood consistently passes its health inspections and Property Performance Reviews,” said Operations Manager Lisa Holloman.
“Raising two kids on her own, it really impresses me that she always makes it to work, and on time,” she adds.