|I just returned from my first
vacation in over three years from Hilton Head Island, SC. During our family
sojourn we frequented many local establishments—places like the Salty Dog Café,
Alexander’s and the Crazy Crab. And, yes, I took pictures of the famous
lighthouse to add to my album.
Besides the fact that I enjoy
being with my family, I relished talking to many of the local business people
about how things are going. What I found out is that things up there are very
similar to down here. Business is better, tourism is up about 6 percent over
the same period last year, and folks seemed pleased.
What the Island does very
well is package its product (golf, tennis, beaches and real estate). These
small and medium business owners know what they do well and, more importantly,
they don’t try to be everything for everyone. They also treat you very well,
always with a smile and “hello.”
Locally, I can think of many
business people who go above and beyond but none more than one of our resort
managers. Andreas Ioannou, general manager of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach
Resort, has built a world class tourist destination that is the leader for his
brand. His work is so well regarded that they have given him another hotel to
manage—Gallery One Fort Lauderdale.
Ioannou believes his success
is due to staff creating an unceasing culture of human respect. “Professional
respect is earned but we all deserve human respect,” he said. “This is what I
give my staff. In turn, I expect them to extend this basic courtesy to our
guests. It helps build morale and loyalty with our team and in turn our
It all comes down to customer
service and respect. I knew it.
It Is My Pleasure,
Dan Lindblade, CAE