“Our business life is not to get ahead of others,
but to get ahead of ourselves…to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterdays by our today, to do our work with more force than ever before.”
Stewart B Johnson
This section is included to allow me the opportunity to “reflect” on some of those people who have positively impacted my career. While these reflections will be of people that I have known, I encourage you to think back on the people who contributed to the person you are today.
2. Louise Avery – Ahead of Her Time – Avery Vermont Inns
I find myself thinking of Louise Avery today (July 4th) because that was always a very important holiday in the summer seasonal resorts they owned and that I worked at in my first hotel experiences.
Families are involved in many businesses around the world and they seem to thrive in the hospitality industry. I have personally worked in large banquet restaurants, small hotel chains and management groups that have been successful family businesses. My family was not in the hospitality business, but I quickly learned what the phrase “family business” in the 1970s when I went to work for the Averys.
The Avery family operated three very different types of Vermont Inns. They owned the Norwich Country Inn near Dartmouth College, the Montpelier Tavern, a downtown hotel near the state capital and the seasonal Bonnie Oaks Resort and Cottages in Fairlee,Vermont (a TV Newhart-ish setting with a population then of about 600).
Borden and Louise Avery started in the industry in the 1940s, and grew with the industry while always maintaining their independent style of operations and hosting guests and this second reflection is about a strong and independent woman hotelier. Louise and Borden survived the rationing of WWII and embraced the changes of the 1950s. The couple worked many 12 hour days, often 7 days per week during the early years. While I did not work with Louise until the early 1970s, I learned quickly why and how Vermont’s residents are often known for their “Yankee” ingenuity. I came to respect her savvy for meticulous review of the audit to ensure accuracy, as well her skills in purchasing. She accompanied and supported Borden as he became very involved in industry association events, yet she preferred to fine tune landscaping and design in the properties.
The Averys did not want to grow their brand beyond the four hotels that eventually included the Lake Morey Resort, which is now managed by Louise and Borden’s grandchildren who have evolved into hoteliers in their own right. My reflections of Louise is that of a very strong-willed professional who was ahead of her time in the business world, but exactly where she needed to be in growing and enjoying their family enterprises. Borden passed away in 1996 and Louise misses him still – ever the matriarch.
Please share your thoughts on this or other topics. As always, comments and feedback are welcome.
John J Hogan, CHA CHE CMHS Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Columnist
Mobile 602-799-5375 firstname.lastname@example.org
Principal, www.HoganHospitality.comYour Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.
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