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.