Discovery and invention have been the key elements that have led me to achieve very many things in my life throughout the years. These have made me take great and daring steps in life. I have also been able to take risks and keep moving despite other people’s discouragements and negative comments.
I started life just like any other innocent child. Later, I discovered that life is not as simple as it may look. It has very many hurdles, in which everyone who wants to succeed must jump over. I went through the initial stages of education so as to gain some knowledge that I would need to jump all through these hurdles in life. Then I realized that my main interest was in business studies. I had always possessed a business-oriented mind and have always been interested to advocate in team work and cooperation. I also had a strong sense of leadership and management.
I went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration in the University of Nevada. This course served as one of the greatest milestones in my life since I got to experience the real world of business administration and got to know how exactly administration and business related to each other. This is a more tricky aspect of business administration since one has to deal with the welfare of other businessmen.
After my bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration, I took up a course in human resources. This was a step driven by my desire to understand the human element of business. I wanted to know the exact contribution of the human being in a business of any kind and the efforts that should be put and emphasized. I also felt a need to know how to boost the motivation of employees in any business setting by giving the appropriate incentives. Consequently, I was able to develop the best human resource skills, which enable me to understand the feelings, opinions, and decisions taken by any employees or fellow workmates.
I have worked with Hyatt Hotels Corporation for ten years. With them, I have had seven promotions from one position to the other. Before joining Hyatt, I worked in a small restaurant, which had a seating capacity of 27. I worked within the kitchen, which had various duties to handle. I served as a minor with managers, who had to order me on how to perform my duties. This role was really challenging and needed much more than perseverance. I tried as much as possible to be perfect in my duties by doing all that was expected of me. Fortunately, I secured a promotion to serve as a cook in the same restaurant. Being a cook was really fascinating as it enabled me to learn how to cook different types of foods and also let me know and understand the various tastes of people.
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Despite of the good experiences as a cook in the restaurant, I was never satisfied with the positions that I held. This is, perhaps, what made me go further to pursue a degree in hospitality management and later human resources, which opened up more perspectives for me, such as joining Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport as an employment manager, where I was responsible for staffing all functional areas in 798-room hotel, and tracking employment data and administering the company’s Affirmative Action Plan. I also had to design a recruitment plan focused on fostering successful relationships with college career centers, community-based organizations, governmental employment agencies and local Human Resources professionals.
Holding this position, I had to closely manage and follow up the services and the conduct of all the employees in the corporation. I also relocated to Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf where I worked as a human resources manager. I was in-charge of employee recruitment and selection and administering all qualified and non-qualified employee benefit programs that included enrollment, tracking and billing. At one point, I became the acting Safety Manager with responsibilities that included completion and management of Injury and Illness Prevention program, Right to know program, workers compensation administration and safety and security training.
Moreover, I have worked as a director of human resources. First, as an assistant at Hyatt Regency Monterey, then at Highlands Inn, Park Hyatt Carmel, Grand Hyatt Seattle, and Hyatt Regency Phoenix as the director of human resources. Being a director of human resources had the following roles: responsible for labor relations, employee relations, staffing, benefit program administration, risk management, diversity awareness, training and development, worker’s compensation administration and overseeing hotel’s safety program, managing all labor activities in accordance with collective bargaining agreement, state and federal law and company policies. Additionally, I was aligned with all levels of management to effectively manage transition of property ownership. In all these positions I had fiscal responsibilities of managing a variety of huge annual budgets. This was the greatest of all my achievements in my career as it served as the first experience to work in an executive team. It was very challenging too, since I had to work directly with the general manager. The major role that I had to play in this position was to establish a higher performing team. This was as a result of the underperformance of the then current team that had a good combination of nine high performing and well qualified individuals. The main reason for the undesirable performance of the team was their lack of unity. This served as a hint for the strategy that I had to put. I had to ensure that the team that I had to work with was to be united as never before. Another major issue that formed my starting agenda to ensure the good performance and the success of the team was the implementation of a mission and vision. These served as the guidelines for the team.
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While working with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, I had numerous key accomplishments that include coordinating development and implementation of employee relation’s strategy that resulted in a 15% year over year increase in Employee Opinion Survey favorable responses, and implementing a recruitment and staffing strategy that resulted in reducing the vacancy rate by 35% and realizing a $150K year over year labor savings at Hyatt Regency Phoenix.
At Grand Hyatt Seattle, I was able to achieve a 9.2% savings in projected annual worker’s compensation premium due to implementation of a Post Injury Management Program. I also initiated Diversity Action Plan to include creating employee awareness, community involvement and business relationships with Women and Minority Business Enterprises (WBE/MBE). Then at Highlands Inn, Park Hyatt Carmel, I orchestrated improvements to employee relations activities that included revamping Employee Recognition Programs, development / implementation of Guest Services Incentive Program and instituting enhanced employee communication programs. Furthermore, I maximized state funded training grant to implement guest service training plan, resulting in improved guest satisfaction survey scores. Achieved a year-end, company-wide ranking of #3 for Overall Guest Satisfaction and received a $38,000 grant reimbursement from the State of California.
I have also worked as the Director of Talent at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center. At this position, I was responsible for overseeing the Talent function including learning and development, employee relations, succession planning, talent acquisition, total compensation administration, risk management and policy development. The fiscal responsibilities include managing $5.1M annual budget. As it was with the first part of my career, I also had achievements. I successfully led hospital start up through managing design and development of the talent function. Key accomplishments included sourcing, selection and on boarding of 142 clinical and non-clinical employees, development and implementation of all talent strategies and development of all talent policies and procedures. Moreover, I was put responsible for managing all talent activities that supported company growth to 322 employees. Most notably, I improved key performance metrics through effective utilization of technology and lean tools. Improvements include a 37% reduction in time to fill open positions, 23% reduction in annualized turnover rate and a 60% average improvement in processing time for standard Talent processes.