• Q&A: Jose Ortega, general manager, Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort

     
    POSTED September 16, 2019
     

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to kassidy.tarala@tigeroak.com.

Jose Ortega was recently hired as the general manager of Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort.

1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role? 

I am looking forward to helping restore a historic hotel like Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort. I anticipated that this project will allow me to gain a unique experience in the industry and look forward to gaining invaluable knowledge from the great team of professionals I work with at Kokua Hospitality.

2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role? 

Working directly with guests has helped me develop extensive skills under pressure. Being able to make decisions when a guest is a distressed is one of the most important learnings for a new hospitality agent. My years of experience have prepared me well for the many possibilities of this positions and I’ve become excellent at deescalating situations and finding a way to make our guests happy. My previous jobs have required high levels of critical thinking, multitasking, decision-making, and identifying solutions in order to deliver a great experience.

3. How did you get into the industry? 

I decided to go into the hospitality industry to challenge myself. English is my second language, and although I love interacting with different people, communication was not originally one of my strengths. After the housing market collapsed, I decided to change career paths – from working in construction to working as a front desk agent at a hotel in Auburn, California. Little did I know this decision would spark an entire journey for me in this great hospitality industry.

4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role? 

I want to help The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC and Kokua Hospitality put Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort on the map. My goal is to help make Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort the place to be in Napa County and help create memorable experiences for our guests each and every time they visit Calistoga. I hope to influence my colleagues by being a strong leader and mentor to my team, just like my mentor Garry Cox has been for me at Kokua.

5. What do you enjoy most about the industry? 

I enjoy interacting with different people and helping everyone I interact with. As hospitality professionals, we have the responsibility to ensure our guests have a positive and memorable experience, and I really enjoy taking this mission on as my personal responsibility, and offering the best experience possible.

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Emily Nichols has joined the Kimpton Alton Hotel in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf as general manager. She was previously the general manager of the Kimpton Buchanan in the city’s Japantown neighborhood, and prior to that served as the assistant general manager at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in Union Square. Her 15 years of experience in hospitality include roles in hotels across the country, including Mendocino, Palm Beach, New York City, and Rochester, Minnesota.

 

After serving as director of food and beverage at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino more than a decade ago, David Lockard returns to the Lake Tahoe community as general manager of the 405-room Resort at Squaw Creek, a luxury Lake Tahoe resort located in California’s Olympic Valley and featuring 33,000 square feet of indoor and 14,780 square feet of outdoor event space.