Posts Tagged Nashville

Cheers for My Daughter. Manager of the Year, Nashville – Large Hotels

Nomination letter from her boss: Matthew Lahiff

I would like to take this time to nominate Suzanne Smith, Human Resources Director of the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, for manager of the year for a large hotel.

Although it is difficult to single out one individual over the course of the last unprecedented year, I would like to personally recognize Suzanne for her outstanding efforts.

Over the last year like so many others, we went down to a bare minimum staffing just to keep the doors open for our guests. What was asked of her and how she responded was gracious and positive to say the least.

Suzanne had the heartbreaking duty of explaining to 110 employees the process of being laid off. She spent time with anyone that needed help or guidance traversing the unemployment system to make sure they were able to collect these crucial benefits. More importantly she was also a shoulder to lean on and a sounding board to hear our employees worries throughout this pandemic.

It certainly did not end there. For the first several months Suzanne was side by side with other managers cleaning public spaces, making beds, cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry or whatever else needed to be done to get through the day operationally.

Suzanne also had to learn our property management systems on the fly. She became the pseudo front office manager making sure we had coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She was not above working any shift to help get us through.

The team work and selfless dedication displayed by Suzanne was exceptional!

Now that we have started to make it through the tough times. The work doesn’t end there. Now Suzanne has to change her cape and figure out a way to bring employees back. As everyone knows, this is easier said than done. Once we bring them back, there is all of the “new” training that needs to be administered. The new on boarding and acculturation that needs to take place. The job fairs that needed to be attended to. The explanation of benefits and so on and so on.  Suzanne has done a 180 degree turn to make sure we do not skip a beat getting back to some normalcy.

Lastly, Suzanne’s teamwork and generosity does not stop at the hotel doors. She has been an integral part of helping out charities over the years. Whether it is Give kids the World or supporting local food banks and shelters, she is always ready to give a helping hand. Most notably is her work with Hope Lodge where she has donated countless hours and goods to support this wonderful effort.

We all know that our world has a new normal and I look forward to exploring it with Suzanne. We are fortunate to have her on our team and her loyalty means everything.

 

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Thankful Thursday – Dr. Douglas McDonald

On this Thankful Thursday I am thankful for the blessings that Doug McDonald brings to my life. Doug is retired from his position as Chief of Audiology at the Veteran’s Hospital in Columbia. He taught part-time at the University of South Carolina. Doug grew up in Nashville and inherited the country music gene. He writes and performs country music. He has sung on the Grand Old Opry and has an album out. He was also a consultant to the Charleston Speech and Hearing Center. He is the person who guided the licensure drive for audiologists and speech language pathologists through the South Carolina legislature without the help of lobbyists and in spite of some pretty powerful opposition. It remains as one of the landmark accomplishments of the South Carolina Speech Language and Hearing Association. Doug wrote a song for the 50th anniversary of the association. He is a past president and holds the Honors of the Association. He is also a Fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. He is the one who recommended Stewart Cohen to me as the audiologist at the Charleston Speech and Hearing Center. He and wife Betty are fun folks to be around. They add zest to any situation. On this Thankful Thursday I am very thankful for the gifts that Doug McDonald brings to my life. Take a look at this video from 1958 when he was with the Martels.

Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to recognize the importance of someone to our lives. Let her or him know of your gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice: Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.

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Thankful Thursday – Suzanne Smith

            Today on this Thankful Thursday and every day I am thankful for my daughter, Suzanne. She has a birthday on Monday. I can still see us coming back from our walks which started out as tricycle rides on Rittner Drive in Baton Rouge. As we returned home I was carrying both Suzanne and the tricycle. Beelzebub, a ferocious dog, who lived around the corner, had driven us away with his fierce barking. We arrived in Charleston the day before her birthday and on her birthday we followed up an ad to get her a new kitten. Of course, there was the day that she and her mother picked up our brand new car from the dealership and Suzanne came to get me at work. She wrecked the car at Wesley drive. Thankfully she was not hurt. The car was a different story. She discovered her calling at USC in the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Program and is having a wonderful career first with Holiday Inns and now with the Marriott at Vanderbilt in Nashville. We have had wonderful trips to Ireland, the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, the Norman Rockwell Museum, etc. She is also the mother of my first grandson, Christopher. I know that every father is proud of his daughter and I am no exception. I have a daughter who picks out the scrawniest Christmas tree because,”Daddy, no one else will buy it and it will be left here.” She has a heart that reaches out to everyone and I would not have it any other way. Happy birthday, Suzanne. Your Dad.

            Thankful Thursday is a day to celebrate the contributions that someone has made to your life. Let her or him know how thankful you are. Send a card, make a telephone call or send an E-mail. Don’t let the day go by without doing it. You will be glad that you said thank you.

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