q: What do you do?
a: Manage and coordinate all training for 3000+ associates at seven properties. This includes record keeping, new hire orientations, quarterly OSHA training, annual management training and executive learning curriculum programs, responsible vendor classes and specialty courses like food safety and CPR. I also developed R.E.A.L., the Rosen Executive Academy for Learning, a quarterly lecture series for salaried supervisory staff covering topics relevant to their daily work and life such as workplace violence and healthy living.
a: In addition to my primary responsibilities, I head up our Service Advisory Council and plan our annual Golden Pillars Service Awards gala, honoring exemplary associates. I love meeting our very best people, which is the opposite of what most HR people do. I also enjoy the feeling of a "light bulb turning on" in a student's head. My Blood-Borne Pathogens course, focusing on Hepatitis and HIV, turns me into a science teacher. The moment someone "gets it"...I can just tell. The excitement of new associates at orientation is incredible - they are so happy to have a job, but nervous, and I can sense how the class makes them more comfortable.
q: Do you stay in touch with any other UCF hospitality alums?a: Doing more with less. Being the only dedicated training associate, I believe that efficiency is the key to success. I don't want to waste associates' time, but want to give them everything they need to do their jobs well.
a: Many of them work here! I'm very close with Liz Geer Cain '03, Ilyssa Backer '04, Dave Buckalew '05, Erica Acquavita Buckalew '04, Gary Deel '07, Nikki Suit Stellges '03, Kim Haan M.S. '09 and Scott Mifsud '03.
a: With my family and friends, with the alumni chapter of my sorority, or volunteering with the SPCA. I provide foster care for dogs with heartworms.
a: Being able to stay happy and do everything I want. I'm fortunate to have a husband and two kids, job, volunteer work and still have a busy social life.
a: It allowed me to graduate in only three years. I transferred from Penn State, where it would have taken me four years to graduate.
a: I liked all the professors who taught from the heart. I also liked any class that challenged my way of thinking, like Dr. Pizam's Tourism Geography, which taught us about different cultures. Beverage Management stands out in my mind because at the time it included field trips to wine bars, and also to Friday's to learn about specialty drinks.
a: The college will become prestigious if the admissions process is more competitive. Learning a foreign language should definitely be required, especially for hospitality. Of all industries, we need it - to communicate with both employees and guests.
a: Being involved with the design team for the new Rosen College campus, and attending the dedication ceremony. I still have my hard hat! I was one of the students chosen to help interview prospective instructors for the new school. Also, I remember frequently standing out because I was in a suit while other students were in sweats. I worked full-time as the assistant to the GM at the Radisson on Alafaya, usually coming or going to class straight from work.
a: In my kitchen! My husband is a great cook and never makes the same thing twice. I don't go out to eat frequently but when I do, I have strict rules. I don't like chain restaurants and don't go to the same place twice. I'm the same way with traveling; if you spend the money, why not experience something new?
a: I wouldn't own an iPod because I like switching around the radio stations and hearing new songs (similar to my eating and traveling rules). I have a long commute so have become a National Public Radio junkie.
a: I was one of ARAMARK's youngest ever facility managers, completely running a food center at the University of Florida. I was offered a manager position right out of school only because I took the initiative to chat with the ARAMARK representative at the Rosen College Career Fair. She remembered me when the Gainesville position opened up, and then I got promoted within a year. I don't miss the 60-70 hour work weeks, but it was an incredible opportunity.