It was a gorgeous, sunny day in Seattle. The waterfront was full of tourists off the Cruise ships. I headed to the World Trade Center to interview John Oppenheimer, CEO of Columbia Hospitality for the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Best Workplaces” award video. Columbia Hospitality owns or manages 13 premier resort properties including the Salish Lodge & Spa. John was a great interview. He talked about how he started in the hospitality business as a bell hop and now he was the CEO! John talked about how important the team culture was for their success. He said that he really focuses on hiring the right people. He said that all employees go through a rigorous hiring process and that he personally interviews all the concierges of all resorts. He said he believes the first impression and the last impressions are the most important. I really enjoyed meeting John. I could tell that he is a world-class guy with a tremendous focus on the values of customer service and the goal of creating raving fans among his team and clients. John said that he is a big believer in nepotism, that he loves to have lots of family working for his organization.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
It was great meeting Brian Paulen, CEO of Madrona Solutions Group in downtown Seattle. I was there to interview Brian for the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Best Workplaces” video project. Brian had a great sense of humor and it was exciting to learn about one of the fastest growing companies in the country. Brian proved to me that a positive attitude and a positive team culture has tremendous impact on the team success. He talked about the importance of being a great listener and being flexible to the needs of clients. He talked about the diversity of his team and the importance of having fun at work. I really liked how Brian said his greatest mentor was his father.
I learned a lot in my interview with Tim Gibbons, CEO of Pharmacy OneSource. I interviewed Tim for the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Best Workplaces” video. Tim talked about the great culture that his company has nurtured over the years. He told me that his greatest pride is seeing his team being happy, successful, and innovative. He said that his secret to success is hiring great people.