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.