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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.