The Service Companies Blog

Service. Above All

Why Should You Join The Service Companies?

When choosing a career path, which of the following qualities are the most important to you?

  • Receiving hands-on training to prepare you for your new role
  • Competitive pay and benefits
  • A culture built on continuous training, employee recognition, mutual respect and strong work ethic
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement

Although each person ranks the above qualities differently, all four are key in achieving a happy and sustainable career. At The Service Companies, we not only invest in personal growth and training, but also the future of our associates. Here are just a few reasons why a career with The Service Companies may be right for you!

Training

Starting a new career can be intimidating. That is why we created a training and orientation program for the success of our new associates. Along with hands-on learning, each new team member is given access to our employee portal full of training guides and position checklists to ensure long-term success. Our new hires are also paired with a mentor during their 10-day training period to ensure effective learning on property.

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Benefits

Our associates work hard to make sure our clients and their guests receive the best possible service. To thank them for their hard work, we provide a complete employee benefits package that includes everything from medical insurance to short and long term disability and a 401k matching program. We also give associates enrolled at a college or university an opportunity to receive a yearly scholarship award and tuition reimbursement.

Culture and Associate Satisfaction

The Service Companies is the employer of choice for hourly associates. Our culture is based on recognition, respect and continuous learning. While we work hard, we also have fun. Our associates enjoy celebrations, weeklong events, contests, and friendly competitions year round. We also offer competitive wages and a safe and harmonious work environment.

 

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Growth and Advancement

As one of the fastest growing companies in the managed service industry, and the largest in the hospitality segment, there is a location and position that fits you! With customer locations spread across over 27 states and the Bahamas, and over 50% of our management positions being filled internally, now is the perfect time to join us and grow your career. To learn more about growth and advancement opportunities with The Service Companies, click here!

Whether you are a student, a recent graduate, U.S. Military Veteran, or just looking to launch your career, a job with The Service Companies is a great way for you to start making your impact on the hospitality industry!

Are you ready to join The Service Companies? Visit https://www.theservicecompanies.com/careers/ to apply now!

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Task Force Spotlight: Vladi Jones

After opening five new turn-key housekeeping accounts this summer, The Service Companies’ Heart of House Services department is growing faster than ever before. The success of The Service Companies’ managed services segment stems, in large part, from the training and leadership provided by our Task Force team to new associates and teams. Our Task Force associates travel to different destinations and assist with the operations of each account opening. Once training is finished and management positions are filled, Task Force members are given a new assignment in a different destination.

Task Force member Vladi Jones joined The Service Companies two months ago from a luxury hotel property in South Beach, Miami. During her time with us, she has already taken the lead on two housekeeping account openings in Kentucky and the Bahamas; during her time in the Bahamas, she was also able to achieve a large increase in productivity for the property. Vladi is now working hard to complete another opening in South Beach. Her passion and hands on supervision makes Vladi a key member of the Task Force team.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born Slovakia and came to the UniteVladi Jones 1d States in 1991. In Slovakia, I was an elementary school teacher. To this day, it still gives me joy when I am able to teach someone something new. I did not speak any English, but I learned to overcome the challenge by not being afraid of making a mistake. Being a member of Task Force allows me to have a special bond with many people in our industry who, perhaps, have had some of the same challenges as I did many years ago. I am very passionate about cooking, gardening, boating and fishing! I also have two amazing kids, who are on their mission every day to make me a proud mom.

What is your professional background?

My professional background is in hospitality. In total, I have had 27 years of experience working in the Rooms Division. My hospitality journey started in 1991, where I started at a hotel property as a Laundry Attendant. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work in all areas and have held several leadership roles. I love working with housekeeping teams.

What led you to become a member of Task Force?

I saw Task Force as a great opportunity to work with many professionals who are as passionate about “housekeeping magic ” as I am.

What role do you play in The Service Companies’ property opening process? 

I have held lead roles during my last two assignments. I am now currently preparing for a new turn-key housekeeping account opening at a hotel in South Beach.

What have you learned during your time as a Task Force Member?

During my time as a Task Force Lead, I have had the opportunity to further develop my interpersonal skills. I have also learned more about the housekeeping operations in hotels and casino hotels. I went from a property with 1,800 rooms to a property with 162 rooms. The switch between two different properties within a short period of time has made me open minded, a quick thinker, and has given me the opportunity to utilize my expertise to solve problems and make the department more efficient.

What is your favorite thing about being a member of Task Force?

It allows me to work with many great individuals in different settings and each property has a different challenge.

International Housekeeping Week 2018

Every year, a week is set aside to honor our hardworking Housekeeping associates. This year, International Housekeeping Week is September 9-15. Housekeeping, often referred to as heart of house services, is one of the toughest and most important jobs for every property to ensure guest satisfaction and prevent illnesses. At The Service Companies, International Housekeeping Week is a big week-long event. Each housekeeping department leader holds events and arranges games, gifts, and a few surprises for their team members to ensure they know how important they are.BP3

International Housekeeping Week started back in the early 80’s as a directive from the Uniting Facility Managers Worldwide President. The week was used to recognize the “doers” in the housekeeping profession. The first official theme was “Our Profession Is Clean.” Since then, different themes and slogans have been featured each year. Today, themes are not used as much as they once were, but the week is still a special opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of every member in your housekeeping team. Thank your housekeepers for a job well done, reward their dedication, inspire their continued efforts, and boost their morale through meaningful gestures and thoughtfully planned activities.

During this year’s Housekeeping Week, make sure to give an extra special “Thank You” to all of your housekeeping team members. Perhaps jump in and help out by cleaning a room, making a bed or scrubbing a toilet – you never know what you might learn!

Here are some ways to make International Housekeeping Week special for your team!

 

Play Games

Who doesn’t love a little competition? Surprise your housekeepers with fun games and activities that will give them a positive start to the day.

Bed-Making Contest

Put your team’s skills to good use as they compete in a bed-making contest! Choose the winner based on the fastest time and the bed that looks the neatest.

Bingo

Put a twist on a classic game! Hand out custom-made cards and swap out numbers with terms that relate to your property.

Toilet Paper Bozo Buckets

Grab a bucket and a roll of toilet paper and see who has the best three-point-shot on property. Extra points for trick shots!

Musical Chairs

A classic game that is simple and always enjoyable. Play the game to your housekeepers’ favorite songs.

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Give Prizes 

What is better than surprising your team with fun games? Awarding your winning team member with a prize! Here are some prize options won’t break the bank.

Gift Cards

Spoil your housekeeping associate with a $25 gift card of their choosing!

Offer to Pay a Bill

Say thank you to your winning housekeepers by paying one of their personal bills for the month! Whether it’s for their cell phone, water, or cable, feel free to cap it off around $50.

Giveaways

Draw a name out of a hat with a gift of your choosing. This easy, yet special, surprise will make one of your team members’ day.

Movie Tickets

Movie tickets are a great way to give your winning team member a relaxing night out!

Raffle Tickets

Pick a few different prizes and display them in your property office; make sure each prize has a corresponding bucket. Each day, give a raffle ticket to the employees who show up to work on time and volunteer to play the games. Have them drop their raffle ticket into one of the buckets of their choosing after each shift. At the end of the week, randomly draw a raffle ticket from each bucket!

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Remember the Managers

Your managers work hard to keep your property running smoothly. Make sure to extend a special “thank you” for all that they do! Have a personal card written for your day-to-day managers. Include a kind note or some photos. If you are feeling extra generous, feel free to include a monetary gift.

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The Meaning of Leadership

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 12.03.29 PM When thinking about leadership, I see a leader as the person who’s always quoted and remembered. They’re always the star of old blockbuster movies where the underdog team beats the odds and wins the championship, whether it’s the coach, the star quarterback or even the unsung hero in the stands.

What are the qualities we seek in a leader? There is no specific formula, no specific answer to this question. Of course, we see a leader as someone who reaches for their goals and is victorious.

Some believe that leaders are born and not made, a matter of nature versus nurture. I believe that leaders need to possess a quality of charisma – specifically the ability to influence others positively – which I think you can either be born with or hone as a skill through your experiences. It is accomplished through leading by example, showing associates that even though it may not be easy, doing the right thing will always lead you to success. It will teach them how to handle new situations in the future.

Effective decision-making is another important quality in a leader. If you make decisions thoughtfully but efficiently, and stick with your decision no matter the outcome, your team will be able to understand how each decision has a consequence, good or bad. The important thing is that you all stick together and trust and rely on each other, your teammates. If a coach decides on a certain play during a game, the team needs to trust each other in order to successfully run the play. If unforeseen challenges pop up, the decision might need to change on a dime, and the team as a whole needs to embrace that.

At The Service Companies, we are surrounded by leaders, in all departments and at every level. Our leaders use numerous tactics to ensure our associates continue to grow, learn and become better every day, so that they can one day step into their own leadership role.

Our management teams across the country share mandated service and safety topics daily. They listen to and act upon feedback from both our associates and clients, which is then shared to ensure everyone is on the same page, on both a property and company level. We promScreen Shot 2018-06-21 at 12.04.43 PMote our SHINE campaign associate engagement culture by recognizing and sharing the successes and accomplishments of each associate and team. Open communication and being the first to welcome and shake associates’ hands from day one is important.

It is vital that our teams across the country work together with each other and their leaders, whether they be managers or fellow associates. It’s the hard work and dedication of all of them who make it possible for us to deliver on our promise to our clients of Service. Above all.

Tips from the Field: Becky Burrows

The team at one of our luxury casino hotels in Lake Charles, Louisiana, has consistently achieved excellent EcoSure scores, which measure the level of cleanliness of our kitchens. Recently their Stewarding Department, led by Executive Steward Becky Burrows, were able to increase their EcoSure score from 95% to an outstanding 97%. Becky plays an integral role in this property’s success, due to her hard work and dedication to her job and her employees. We interviewed Becky to learn more about the secret to her team’s success.

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What does an EcoSure inspection entail? What do they look for?

EcoSure looks for the cleanliness of the kitchen as a whole. All dish rooms are inspected to ensure the water is at the right temperature and that the sanitizer is up to standard. The inspectors check that no food or debris is left anywhere, and that all equipment is wiped down and dusted.

How was your team able to achieve such excellent scores?

Our team is well trained in what it takes to keep our kitchens and dish rooms clean, and do this every shift, morning, afternoon and overnight. They clean, dust, sweep and mop everything from top to bottom continuously.  We make sure each associate feels valued and a part of the team, so each shift works together to make sure our cleanliness is excellent.

What is the largest event you and your team have supported?

New Year’s Eve is usually our largest – we have done two seating’s of 800 people apiece. The Stewarding Department helps out the cooks in the kitchen often, especially during events. The team helps to plate the food, which is then run to tables by the serving team. During large events like this, we have employees who volunteer to stay over and help with everything. It’s truly all about the teamwork. Huge events can be fun, because there is a thrill in working together and accomplishing something.

How do you motivate your team?

The team is like a big family. We treat each other as individuals and make sure we’re training and then working with associates one-on-one. They truly care about their jobs and work hard to achieve consistently great scores. We also place importance on employee engagement events, and take time to listen to our employees and make sure they know they are valued. We have lots of team members who are far from home, from places including Haiti, so it’s important that they feel like they have a family here and are comfortable and involved.

Me and Ms Dina (1)When did you join The Service Companies?

I started as a Public Area Attendant in 2010 and then moved up to a Public Area Lead, then a Public Area Supervisor, and then a Public Area Night Manager. In 2013, I was asked to become an Assistant Executive Steward. 

How did you gain your expertise in Stewarding?

I gained experience by doing. When I was promoted to Assistant Executive Steward I barely knew anything about kitchens or the department. But, I was able to rise to the challenge and I was able to learn and train as I went. There was always someone there to ask for help or to answer questions.

What would you recommend to a property that might be struggling to achieve high inspection scores in their Stewarding Department?

First, I would recommend that they check their teamwork. 1st, 2nd and 3rd shift all have to work together to ensure consistency in cleanliness. Standards need to be met all the time, not just before an inspection. I would tell the management team to listen to their associates, to see what they can do to help them achieve what’s needed.

What do you love most about your job, and the company?

I love my staff – without them, I could not do my job. I’m a people person, and I like to be there for my team and have an opportunity to make changes in their lives.

Stepping into the Shoes of a Guest Room Attendant

IMG_3601 2At The Service Companies, we value our associates because we understand they are what make us great. Our Guest Room Attendants across the country work tirelessly each day to deliver on our company’s promise and create the best possible experience for guests. It is important to us that at no matter what level, property or department, our whole team contributes to a strong culture and works toward a common goal. Recently, our Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Matt Sanfilippo, visited one of our luxury casino hotel properties in Laughlin, Nevada, where he spent the day working as a GRA. Read below about his experience and what he learned.

Which property did you visit?

I visited one of our luxury casino hotel properties in Laughlin, Nevada.

What position did you fill in on?

I was a Guest Room Attendant in the Housekeeping Department for the day – I worked with another GRA, Latosha Jackson.

What was your schedule like for the day?

The schedule was intense. We were expecting a very busy day with many early arrivals. The house had to be turned by 4pm to accommodate the influx of new guests. On top of that, there were a large number of VIP guests flying in for a concert at the property that night.

Did you receive training?

I did receive training, but for me it was strictly on the job, bootstrap style. We had a mission to get the house turned. I stripped the rooms and made the beds. Latosha took care of the bathroom and vacuumed.

What were your observations about the culture of the department/property?

I was concerned as I drove down to Laughlin from Las Vegas that the day was going to be intense with the momentous task that had to be completed. However, upon arrival, I was delighted to find that the staff was upbeat and positive about the challenge they had ahead of them. The culture is one of respect for co-workers and leaders. Latosha, the GRA I was working with for the day, loves her job (and does it well). Everyone embraces Project Director Alan Ching, who has done a fantastic job of shifting the work environment at the property.   

I took this opportunity to learn what motivated the employees to come to work each day.  I found that it’s the culture, the way they are treated, and the camaraderie that is shared throughout the team. They appreciate working in an environment where they are respected by their peers and managers, and feeling like they’re a part of something bigger. The associates are truly hospitality people and love giving service to our guests.  

What did you learn or take away from this experience?

The job of a Guest Room Attendant is very difficult.  It’s hard to imagine what cleaning eighteen rooms looks and feels like until you do it. The physical component is demanding. Mattresses are heavy. Linen is sometimes turned inside out. You question why a bed needs four pillows. Why do they need so many sheets? I attempted to leave each room in the condition that I would expect if I were a guest at the property.  

The experience was impactful and humbling because it gave me the opportunity to experience what all those terms I typically hear on conference calls mean. Turning the house means you are not leaving until all rooms are cleaned. A board is your roadmap through the day for your housekeeping experience. A Do Not Disturb sign is a happy sight when you’re close to the finish line. Make friends with a Houseperson, they can be life savers.

I have a ton of respect for our Housekeepers throughout the country. It’s definitely one of the hardest jobs out there!

 

Emerging Leaders: Shelly Sauseda

Our Emerging Leaders Program was developed to give individuals within our team the opportunity for growth by providing comprehensive management and leadership training. The Service Companies is dedicated to fostering and investing in our associates’ careers, and as a result, we have a number of tenured associates who have risen through the ranks from Kitchen Cleaners or EVS Attendants to Vice Presidents. Today, we highlight Shelly Sauseda, who recently reached her one year anniversary with us as an EVS Attendant at a casino in Bossier City. During Shelly’s first year, her manager noticed great potential and an eagerness to learn more, and urged Shelly to apply to our Emerging Leaders Program. Currently two months into the six month management training program, which includes learning about the housekeeping and stewarding functions and departments, , including rooms cleaning, office dispatch, room inspections, floor care, kitchens, human resources and project management. We interviewed Shelly about her experience so far.

Shelly Rooms TrainingWhen did you join The Service Companies?

I started at The Service Companies in March 2017 as a Restroom Attendant at a casino property in Bossier City, Louisiana.

How did you learn about our Emerging Leaders Program and what do you hope to take away from it?

I found out about the Program from Dekindra Thomas, the Project Manager at the property where I first started. I want to develop better leadership skills and to be an example so other employees can follow in my steps.

The Emerging Leaders Program involves six months of training. How is your training schedule broken down and where are you currently in your training?

I spend time at different properties learning the ins and outs of each department. I completed my final week  at a casino property in Bossier City, where I learned how to run an efficient and successful housekeeping department. Next I’ll move on to learn about floor care and kitchen cleaning at another casino in the area.

Shelly Dispatch

Can you describe what your typical day-to-day looked like during the housekeeping training portion of the program?

At first, I was cleaning rooms while learning room procedures and how to make beds. After I mastered those tasks, I was placed on dispatch for two weeks to learn about that housekeeping function. Next, I spent one to two weeks learning how to inspect rooms. I was also trained on the responsibilities of a house attendant.

What has been the biggest lesson or thing you’ve learned through the Program?

How to run dispatch was the biggest task I mastered. It requires strong multitasking skills. A Dispatcher has to take phone calls and radio messages while simultaneously managing the computer.  

What has been the most rewarding accomplishment for you since you started the Program?

Being given the opportunity to move forward in my career already feels like an accomplishment. I also feel like I’ve learned a lot about each department’s job functions, including how to be a Dispatcher and the room cleaning inspection process. 

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As you transition to the next stage of your training, what are you looking forward to learning or doing?

I’m really excited to learn how to detail kitchens and polish and wax the floors. My training at the next property will include kitchen deep cleaning, floor care, marble care and stewarding.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in the Emerging Leaders Program?

Be strong. Never give up. Push yourself to accomplish the new tasks that come with your position. It’s not always easy, but the outcome will be worth it.

To learn more about our associate programs and career opportunities, visit http://www.theservicecompanies.com/careers/why/.

How We Prepare for the Spring and Summer

Although Mother Nature seems to be confused this year regarding which season it is, summer is finally on its way. With schools beginning to let out for summer break, our luxury hotel properties across the country are increasing in occupancy, specifically with family travelers.

Opening Day WP 1Last month, The Service Companies completed our Annual Spring Cleaning Event, during which our teams cleaned and organized all back of the house areas, including offices, break rooms, storage areas and more. This was our initial step in preparing for the upcoming busy season. Maintaining a well organized back of the house area sets us up for success, as we are then able to quickly identify items needed and alleviate hiccups in service delivery.

jack_cinciAs we further prepare for the summer season, we focus on and place additional effort in stocking up on equipment and supplies, ensuring our staff is full, and providing refresher training to our teams so they are ready for the influx of guests. This includes making sure our teams are equipped with enough linens and amenities to accommodate each room and adjusting as needed. For example, a higher number of families requires us to need more towels than usual. Additionally, property information will be reviewed in our mandatory training meetings before each shift, as an increase in traffic will result in an increase in guest questions.

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While we are spending time preparing for the upcoming summer months, we can’t look too far forward. In May, not only are we stocking up for a busy season, we are celebrating Mother’s Day. We may not be able to give every associate who is a mother the day off, but we can ensure all team members can leave on time or early by making small adjustments to our schedule. Managers also celebrate with pre-shift activities to let everyone know they are appreciated, and to thank them for spending their special day working hard to service our guests.

Carpet Cleaning Processes

Carpet Care and the Guest Experiencecarpetcleaning

The appearance of a property’s carpets can affect a guest’s experience and impression of the hotel or casino. I have seen occasions where carpet appearance has impacted guest satisfaction survey ratings. Carpets throughout the building are exposed daily to high traffic, heavy soils and spills, and chewing gum, and are many times, the first areas of a hotel, resort or casino to show signs of wear and tear. At The Service Companies, we have spent years evaluating different types of carpet care processes for both carpet deep cleaning and interim maintenance to keep our customers’ properties’ carpets in excellent condition. We have furthered that by partnering with Ecolab and Kärcher for our chemical and equipment needs at all of our customer properties.

 

The Importance of Daily Carpet Vacuuming

Customers normally bring soil, dirt and other types of debris into buildings. A daily vacuuming regimen with a strong suction vacuum cleaner is our best tip to maintain the cleanliness of the carpets. This will pick up the debris and soil, leaving the carpets fresh for the next day. It is also the best chemical-free carpet cleaning method for those who want to avoid using chemicals.

If this daily carpet maintenance is done correctly, then, when the time to shampoo the carpets comes, only a mild shampoo and water is required  to clean the fibers. Because of the daily vacuuming, there will be no soil remaining in the carpet fibers to turn to mud. 

 

The Process of Interim MaintenanceED-Carpet-1

Of course, interim maintenance is required on occasion to keep carpets in good condition. The two processes I detail – encapsulation shampoo and dry carpet cleaning (HOST) – are quick and do not use water, which allow the carpets to be open for traffic immediately after the process is complete. They normally clean the top fiber of the carpets and can be applied frequently.

Encapsulation shampoo: Polymers are used to encapsulate and crystalize particles into dry residue, which is then vacuumed from the carpets right after the process is completed.

Dry carpet cleaning (HOST): This involves a dry cleaning compound with mild soap.

The HOST carpet cleaning equipment has brushes which agitate the compound, clean the fibers, and vacuum them.

 

The Carpet Deep Cleaning Process     FullSizeRender (9) (1)

When it comes time to deep clean your carpets, we prefer hot water extraction and steam cleaning.

Hot water extraction: This is the most common method of carpet deep cleaning, and is recommended by many carpet manufacturers.

Steam cleaning:  In the dry carpet cleaning vs. steam cleaning debate, it’s important to clear up the myth that steam is actually used to clean your carpets. While home and commercial machines use hot water, which gives off steam, the steam itself does not clean carpet.

 

To inquire about our carpet cleaning services, visit http://theservicecompanies.com/contact/.

Leaders in Service: Stephanie Leger

Our next Leaders in Service series feature is Stephanie Leger, Corporate Compliance Auditor and support for our hotel, casino and resort properties across the country.  Prior to joining our team, Stephanie held a number of roles with The Ritz-Carlton brand, including Housekeeping Manager, Front Desk Supervisor, and Group Sales Coordinator, and was a Service Evaluator for Forbes Travel Guide, during which time she was trained and certified in over 550 hotel standards and identified service strengths and opportunities for improvement. We have interviewed Stephanie about her time at The Service Companies, her unique background in inspections and auditing, and what it takes to succeed and grow within our company. Currently, she is providing operational support and expertise to one of The Service Companies’ luxury hotels in South Beach, Miami.

StephanieLeger_1794What roles have you held while with The Service Companies? How long have you been with us? I’ve been with The Service Companies for two years, during which I’ve lead the team in account openings, helped with the expansion of accounts and evaluated how our accounts align with our company and brand standards. At the property I’m with right now in Miami, we’re running about 45 room attendants each day, and I’ve been training new associates every day.

What has kept you on our team, and what do you like most about this company? It’s exciting to be part of a growing company that isn’t just growing in one location, but across the country – over 30 states and counting! We’re also expanding into different calibers of hotels, and I like assisting in creating our company standards as we grow.

What does your job entail? I have a variety of job duties. I travel to our new accounts and assist in setting up the housekeeping department and training newly hired team members. Or, I visit existing accounts and audit the housekeeping department by testing associates’ knowledge and spot checking cleanliness in their rooms.

What do you think makes an Executive Housekeeper successful? Having skills in time management, teamwork and flexibility are important for success.

What do you think is the most important part of your role? Checking in on our current accounts and making sure they performing up to our standards, and if they’re not, assisting them to get them where they need to be.

What would you recommend to someone looking to become an Executive Housekeeper? Learn all the duties of each position of your team. Then as a leader, you’ll be able to understand how each position relies on each other to meet the needs of the guest.

What do you love most about your position? I love visiting our various properties and working with the team to take them to the next level.

How do you stay motivated, and how do you motivate your team? To keep myself motivated, I stay positive. My nickname is giggles; I’m always laughing and in a good mood. Housekeeping can be very challenging, but I use my positive outlook to motivate the team. Also, I work side by side with the team to get the task at hand done.  

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? I enjoy traveling to destinations I’ve never been before and touring the area. When not on the road for work I like to travel to tropical locations and enjoy the outdoors, hiking and fishing.

 

At The Service Companies, we understand that our people are what makes our company great and enables us to provide our customers Service. Above All.

No matter what level, property or department, you will find exceptional associates who live and breathe our brand and have helped create a strong corporate culture. In the spirit of honoring the people and leaders within our company, we feature and interview our outstanding associates in our series, Leaders in Service.

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