“Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me™| Philana Cunningham, Community Volunteer and Fund-raising Consultant

Hospitality is arguably the largest industry in the world and many of us have worked in many dimensions of the business. We also realize that people change companies and sometimes industries and that is the scenario today. This response comes from Philana Cunningham, who was involved in the industry with several companies in a number of states. She is now a Community Volunteer and Fund-raising Consultant in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, working in Non-Profit Management .

I have worked with literally thousands of people in my career, and Philana was unique in that I  first met her when I was teaching hospitality courses at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Philana was a hospitality major and her enthusiasm toward the industry was apparent from the beginning. Her interests continued to grow and I was pleased to have her join our team part time at the Sheraton Nashville Hotel while she completed her degree. I recall she graduated with honors and she joined our Sheraton team (where I was the General Manager) as a management trainee and excelled at developing her skills, matching them to her academic learning. I know she continued to grow in the industry when she relocated to another part of the US.

  1. Name your favorite hotel and why it is special to you

I CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAME, BUT IT WAS IN DORADO, PUERTO RICO; IT WAS VERY OPEN WITH LOTS OF FUN WILDLIFE MILLING AROUND.
2. Name your favorite restaurant and why it is special to you

BENIHANA’S – ENTERTAINING & GOOD FOOD AT A SLOW PACE

3. Where do you vacation the most often?   FRANKLIN, TN

4. What is your favorite charity or cause?    MISSIONS ORIENTED

5. Name your pet service peeve, why and any ideas you may have to address it

SERVICE PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT PLEASANT. HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR THE RIGHT POSITION.

6. Who was the most important mentor in your life and why?

  • JOHN HOGAN!
  • HE EMPOWERED ME TO SUCCEED AND FAIL ,WHILE MAKING BOTH LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES!
  • THANK YOU!! (I DIDN’T JUST SAY THAT BECAUSE YOU ASKED THE QUESTION. IT’S REALLY TRUE!)

8. What is the one piece of advice you would offer to a graduating student with a hospitality degree?

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. IF YOU CAN’T DEAL WITH THAT, FIND ANOTHER CAREER. 🙂
9. What is the one question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview today?

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

“Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me™” includes interviews such as those found in our HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS,  and and it also allows industry professional the opportunity to share their perspectives, values and opinions on additional areas and subjects that may not have been part of the planned discussion.  This segment includes a wide range of hospitality professionals from all portions of the industry. We ask participants to answer at least five of the listed nine questions.  Their responses will interest, sometimes amuse and definitely inspire you to consider how YOU might answer.

We have asked dozens of people involved in hospitality businesses around the world to answer up to nine questions in this special section of HospitalityEducators.com.  If you would like to participate, please contact   John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com  _________________________________________________________________________

Feel free to share an idea for a column at info@hoganhospitality.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com.

Special pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.

Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS          United States – Phoenix,

Phone: 602-799-5375   www.hoganhospitality.com/

Email: info@hoganhospitality.com

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