Today's Hotelier - April 2016 - (Page 16)
Versha (Vicky) Patel
CFO, Hotel Investment Group, Inc.
A GREAT LEADER?
A great leader is a person who leads
from the front, follows her convictions,
and above all, acts with integrity. A
leader listens, coaches, offers public
praise and discreet criticism. A leader
has a knack for bringing her vision to life
in the hearts and minds of the people
who follow her. A leader always accepts
mistakes while always giving credit and
acclaim to others. A leader inspires others to be great.
HEN RESEARCHING FOR THIS INTERVIEW, VERSHA
(Vicky) Patel realized that 20 years had sped by since
joining AAHOA in 1996. She has been steadfast in her
support of AAHOA as has attended nearly all of the
annual conventions since. Her commitment and respect
for AAHOA has carried over to her three wonderful children, Darshan (24), Pooja (21) and Aarti (20).
While Versha has received many awards and recognitions, the award she cherishes
most is being recognized as AAHOA's Outstanding Woman Hotelier of the Year,
which was presented to her during the 2014 convention. "To be recognized by my
peers and by such a strong, accomplished organization such as AAHOA was very
humbling to me," Versha said.
Her husband, Bhavesh (Bobby) Patel, served on the Executive Committee and the
board of AAHOA from 1998-2000. While he served, his tenure and networking with
new friends increased his experience and sphere of influence, which, in turn, allowed
him to become well-acquainted with AAHOA and its leadership culture.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN
THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY.
In 1986 my parents, my brother and I
immigrated from Birmingham, England,
to Livingston, California, where my
parents bought a 17-unit independent
hotel. There I would help my parents
before and after school, and on weekends, by cleaning and renting rooms.
In 1990, I was married to Bhavesh and
soon thereafter we leased a 44-room
hotel in Fresno, California. The hotel was
quite challenging, but those challenges
helped us understand clearly that nothing comes easy in life, and hard work
always pays off. We initially operated
16 | APRIL 2016 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM
the hotel ourselves, but soon evolved to
hiring staff. This freedom away from day
to day operations afforded us the time
to grow our company and soon thereafter, Hotel Investment Group Inc. took
shape. Through strategic planning and
staying true to our plan we were able to
endure the ups and downs of the business cycle. As I look back on my journey, it has been a wondrous joy. I never
imagined I would be a mother of three
and the CFO of such a large company,
buying and selling almost 90 hotels, and
today, employing more than 300 incredible associates and support staff. To my
peers I say: "Chase the goal but enjoy the
process even more."
WHAT BOOK HAS
INFLUENCED YOU MOST?
There are so many great books, so
I can't really point to any one in particular. However, The Art of the Deal by
Donald Trump and How to Win Friends
and Influence People by Dale Carnegie are
two books I would credit to shaping the
foundation of my leadership skills. The
Bhagavad Gita I would credit for shaping
my spiritual life.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS
MOST IMPORTANT FOR
THE NEXT GENERATION OF
HOTELIERS TO LEARN?
Never take shortcuts. Technology
has its place but can never replace the
human touch found in customer service, kindness and empathy. Be positive,
slow down, be strategic and not tactical.
Always have your eye on the prize, and
do not let the noise cloud your mind. Do
your best and then more.
WHO IS YOUR
ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
I have been influenced by so many
people; I don't even know where to begin.
But first and foremost, I would say my
husband. He was 20 years old when I
married him, and not a day has gone
by where he has wavered in his vision
for family or business. He has systematically worked though his checklist for
life and family.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - April 2016
Message From AAHOA
Letter From The Chairmen
2016 AAHOA CONVENTION
Perspectives From The Chief suites
Food & Beverage
Compliance & Legal
5 Unexpected Things Hoteliers Can Learn From Kevin O’Leary
Sales & Marketing
4 Steps To Creating A Powerful Guest Experience
3 Ways To Breathe Life And Revenue Into Your Space
Finance & Revenue
Today's Hotelier - April 2016