Reflections….on those who have impacted our lives | Brother Robert Michaud, formerly of Prevost High School, Fall River, Mass

Reflections….

People who made a difference in our lives and impacted our careers

There is one section of HoganHospitality.com that I have begun 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.

 

“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 is a reflection on a high school teacher who influenced me in ways I could not anticipate at the time.

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5. Brother Robert Michaud,

formerly of Prevost High School,  Fall River, Mass

We all are influenced by teachers at some point in our life.  Brother Robert was on the faculty of an all male Christian high school in southeastern Massachusetts when I attended.  My recollections was that this man, while always cordial, was not particularly outgoing and did not interact with many students outside of the classroom. An important fact for me is that I do know that I find his influence remains with me to this day.  As an English instructor, he insisted on sharing writing styles, challenging ideas, thought processing and exposure to many authors, poets and writers of many nationalities and generations.   I still recall the frustration of a high school junior rewriting an essay or term paper because this instructor insisted that I was capable of better and more.  While the frustrations were real,  the resulting better work was also real.

There were other faculty members who influenced and/or inspired me over the years, particularly at the university level, but this one professional who demanded clarity, focus and substance in writing left an indelible sense of appreciation to me in my work as an educator, author, speaker, and hotelier.

I hope and believe that I said “thank you” formally to Brother Robert after I left high school, and I do know that he was an informal mentor to many of my classmates in the areas of writing and communication.  The high school merged years ago with another following a devastating fire that was a total loss and Brother Robert has long since retired.  I will always appreciate his insistence on quality and his tenacity to drive each of us to just a bit more than we thought we were capable of.

Earlier Reflections

4. Roy Dunfey – Dunfey Hotels
3.  Natividad Cruz – Sheraton Boston 
2.   Louise Avery – Ahead of Her Time – Avery Vermont Inns 
1. “Al Wrisley, PhD, Professor in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration at the University of Massachusetts,

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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 CEO and Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers 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.

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Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.

 

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Reflections: Louise Avery – Ahead of Her Time – Avery Vermont Inns

“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.

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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  john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com

Principal, www.HoganHospitality.comYour Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.

Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com A membership information site committed to making YOUR HOTEL MORE PROFITABLE!

HospitalityEducators.com has become the #1 website for independent hotel owners and managers, with more than 600 resources available to members.

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