Monday, November 2, 2009

Gary Deel '07

Assistant Director of Security,
Rosen Shingle Creek

q: What do you do?
a: Help manage the loss prevention and emergency procedures for a 350-acre resort property with over $1 billion in assets; this includes overseeing 70 staff members, five supervisors and six managers.
q: What's your favorite part of the job?
a: Working with the people here, and making a difference in their careers whether they get promoted here or go on to another organization. I'm blessed to have a great team under me.
q: What's the greatest challenge?
a: My age. Some people, as human nature has it, will naturally view me as a ‘23 year-old kid’ rather than an industry professional. I'm managing people who have been leaders in this industry for 15-20 years and are two to three times my age, so the situation requires an enormous amount of tact and humility. 
q: Do you stay in touch with any other UCF hospitality alums?
a: Jen Sandler Rosenthal '06 who works here at Shingle Creek and my fiancĂ©, Ilyssa Backer '04 who works at Rosen Centre.
q: Outside're most likely to be seen?
a: I'm currently in law school four nights a week, plus finishing my master's degree at Rosen. I teach Introduction to Hospitality at Valencia College. Also, I'm involved in Kung Fu.
q: Your biggest accomplishment since graduating, outside your career?
a: Receiving a full-ride scholarship to Florida A & M law school. It's an honor.
q: How did UCF prepare you for what you do?
a: Learning the fundamentals of the hospitality industry. Basically, I'm running the security for a small city of 1500 people which include all kinds of positions: engineers, golf course maintenance people, waitresses, chemical specialists, chefs, finance professionals, spa technicians, etc....there are so many job categories and I understand their functions because of my degree. In a career setting, I would have to work 3-4 lifetimes in this business to know how everyone works together, but learned this overview quickly - completing my bachelor's degree in just three years total.
q:How could the hospitality program have been better?
a: I finished my course work for the master's in a year and change, but the thesis process is more complicated than was advertised, and has cost me several additional semesters of time and tuition above and beyond what was anticipated. I have enjoyed working with Dr. Denver Severt, though, who is the head of my thesis committee.
q: A UCF memory?
a: ‘The Squirrel Song’ as written, composed and performed by Dr. Denver Severt haha.
q: Favorite meal in Orlando?
a: Sushi at Oishi on the corner of I-Drive and Central Florida Pkwy. Hands down…the best!
q: On your iPod?
a: Frank Sinatra...chairman of the board!! And All Time Low when I need to stay awake or work out, etc.
q: Little known fact about you?
a: I’ll be the CEO of one of the world’s largest hotel companies within 15 years….but that’s top secret…don’t tell anyone! ;)

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