35+ years hospitality industry experience in North America, Asia and Middle East markets; deep expertise in hotel management, F&B purchasing, operations, maintenance support at the corporate and property-level
Hotelier Magazine Pinnacle Award for Supplier of the Year
Played international field hockey for United Arab Emirates, officiated high level soccer tournaments as a Canadian Soccer Referee
What drives your passion for customer service in the hospitality industry?
I’m driven by the ability to create memorable experiences for people. Hospitality is about making guests feel welcome and comfortable, and it’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of that process.
To me, customer success means ensuring our clients not only achieve their business goals but also feel supported and valued throughout their relationship with Avendra. I lead my team by example and consistently demonstrate a customer-centric approach. I believe it’s important to always put the customer first, be empathetic to their needs, and to be proactive in finding solutions.
What are some unique customer success stories you’ve experienced?
During a blackout in Toronto, all the hotels were pitch dark. I visited them to show that Avendra was there to assist them in any way possible. One of the hotels gave me an award for going out of my way to support their hotel.
When the G7 Summit was held in Toronto, I ensured key suppliers had access to deliver to those hotels in the red zone in addition to working with our team to source alternative suppliers, allowing our hotel clients to maintain their high service standards without any noticeable impact on the guest experience.
During Covid I worked with suppliers to get their short expiry perishable product inventory off their shelves and put to good use. I helped organize a food drive for hospitality industry employees as most of them had been laid off and needed a little help. Working together enabled us to build better relationships and support others in the hospitality industry.
How can others in the hospitality industry develop a mindset for customer success?
I believe it’s important to always put the customer first, be empathetic to their needs, and be proactive in finding solutions. Continuously seeking feedback and learning from both success and setbacks is also crucial for improvement.
Researching and sourcing vendors then connecting them with our clients to meet their needs is at the heart of what we do. I initiated the Avendra Canada Supplier Show, which brings customers and suppliers together in one platform. It has become the largest supplier show for hospitality in Canada and is now in its 12th year. In 2016, I was honored to receive the Hotelier Magazine Pinnacle Award for Supplier of the Year for building relationships with multiple stakeholders in the hospitality community.
With a customer-first mindset, hard work, and creativity, customer service becomes the centerpiece to a great guest experience.