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Daring To Be Great: Leadership Insights With Maggie Arnold

Mar 31, 2022

Leadership Insights with Maggie Arnold, Front Office Manager at Hotel Madera

Describe your professional journey/path in the hospitality industry (and at Davidson).
What was your first position and why did it appeal to you? Well, my degree is in education and after 20 years I was looking for a change, imagine at 40 something looking to start over. It was actually my youngest son who told me I should look at Hotels as I tend to talk a lot, even to people I don’t know. Someone he played football with; their mom worked for Kimpton. I found out it was a pet friendly hotel and thought it would be amazing to work somewhere where you could make people and their pets happy, and no two days would ever be the same. I started as a guest service agent and was able to have my dog at work with me (what’s better than that?) I moved up and eventually became an assistant front office manager before leaving and moving on to a bigger property. I moved to add a large hotel to my profile and started at a Front Office manager with Davidson at The Westin DC.

How did you end up in your current role?
I had worked task force with Kimpton towards the end of my time and worked throughout DC at many of the properties. Hotel Madera was a property I had task forced with many times. As Davidson was acquiring the property, I was working at another Davidson property and was asked if I would be interested in working while the property transitioned. What a great opportunity I thought! The rest is history once I started at Madera it felt like home and it too was pet friendly. It was a perfect opportunity to build my own team and watch the property grow as we went through Covid struggles and renovations.

What do you love about this industry?
What I love most about this industry is all the people you meet from all walks of life, the connections you make that last a lifetime with past co-workers and the fact that most Hotels are pet friendly and you have the ability to make someone’s day brighter.

What do you love about your role/what inspires you to be great?
What I love about my current role is that my team and I are the face of the Hotel. Working in a smaller property allows me to know our neighbors as well as returning guest and just make connections with people. I love to make a difference in someone’s stay remembering a birthday, child’s name, dog’s name makes such a difference for people. What inspires me to be great is just doing better tomorrow than I did today. It is a tough time and I just want people to be happy during their time with us so if I can make that happen, I feel like that’s GREAT!

What are your professional aspirations; where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Where do I see myself in five or ten years? I would love to be on a transition team or opening new hotels, I would even love to try sales but somewhere I am still interacting with the guests and community.

What advice/tips resonated with you most from mentors throughout your career?
Not to take things so personally. (This is extremely hard for me) Make each day better than the next and if something happens that is out of your control always remember “tomorrow is a new day!”

What advice would you give someone who is coming up?
Follow your heart, this is an industry about people. Treat people how you want to be treated, it will make such a difference in how you look at your day.

Anything else you want to add?
Love what you do and pet a dog it will make your day great and reduce stress.