Après la pluie, le beau temps: Every cloud has a silver lining

Original Article by Lora Waugh for Hospitality Careers
Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SONY DSCBorn in Quebec (sometimes referred to as “La Belle Province”, which is the only Canadian province with a mainly French-speaking population and the only one to have French as its sole provincial official language), Brigitte Bissonnette speaks both perfect French and English, and has a good working knowledge of Japanese.

Brigitte refuses to “hang up her personality” at the corporate door. She is a Corporate Account Executive on the Emerging Markets team of Hcareers, and an onTargetjobs USA (Dice Holdings, Inc.) Star Award winner for the last three years. She believes in building her brand by providing unique customer service to her clients, putting smiles on their faces, offering personalized messages, and helping people feel genuinely recognized. Brigitte is a true world citizen.

“I left my native Quebec in 1990,” she says. “My entrepreneurial spirit led me out West to embark on a career in hospitality. At first, I was a restaurant supervisor at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, and later a managing partner of a popular café/pub / wine & beer store in Whistler Village. Then I headed to Japan and immersed myself in the language, tradition, and culture of the Far East. I visited Tokyo and the Greater Tokyo Area—the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 30 million residents. I had a wonderful experience!” Continue reading


Melchiorri Writing a Book, New Season for Hotel Impossible

Original Article by Lora Waugh for Hospitality Careers
Posted Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Anthony Melchiorri, Hotel ImpossibleI was hoping to speak with Anthony Melchiorri, the Creator, Co-Executive Producer, and Host of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible TV Show. Two minutes, three minutes, five minutes—I crossed my fingers! Finally the call came through. Melchiorri was patched into the conference line directly for the interview. He was on location, and although extremely busy with production, was kind enough to answer our questions.

I asked Melchiorri if he was currently filming an episode.

“We started filming in September 2013 after completing Season 2 and 3,” he said. “We are now filming the sixth episode of Season 4, and typically, there are thirteen episodes in a season. We filmed in Hollywood, California; then in Las Vegas, Nevada; and Florida is our next stop. I can say with a high degree of confidence that one of our next shows will be in Vancouver, Canada.”

Hotel Impossible has a huge influence both in North America and worldwide with increasing numbers of people asking to be on the show. Atlas Media, the production company, has a location department, which finds the participating hotels for the show. Hotel managers often email Melchiorri, text him on Facebook and Twitter, or contact Travel Channel. “My team, my producer, my camera operators and staff, we all have a job to do,” said Melchiorri. “It is our mission to turn around failing hotels into winning properties.”

Work and travel with Walt Disney World!

Original Article by Lora Waugh for Hospitality Careers
Posted Monday, September 30, 2013

“Working for Disney is marvelous because I’m working for the biggest and best company in the entertainment industry at the most magical place on earth,” says Kristen from Winnipeg, Canada. “The program offers such a rewarding experience for me as a business student. It doesn’t get much better than this!”

Program participants like Kristen, acting as Cultural Representatives in the World Showcase Pavilion at Epcot, see Disney as a “community of nations”. Being the only permanent international exposition of its kind, the program focuses on the culture, traditions, tourism, and achievements of people worldwide. Participants represent their countries and share their cultural heritage with international guests. Apart from the United States as the host, the community includes Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

When Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge opened to the public, the Cultural Representative Program quickly expanded to include countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. To work for Walt Disney World, successful applicants excel in representing their countries. Continue reading

Celebrity Cruises—My Interview with Captain Kafetzis

Original Article by Lora Waugh for Hospitality Careers
Posted Monday, August 19, 2013

CelebrityXCruises_logo_648_CMYKParallel parking a cruise ship weighing 122,400 gross registered tons, measuring three football fields in length, and soaring 183 feet above the waterline, is no easy task. Captain Dimitris Kafetzis, who has worked on cruise ships for most of his career, has plenty of experience maneuvering giant ships like his present vessel, Celebrity Silhouette, into port. “‘Parallel parking’ is what we call ‘docking the vessel alongside,’” he explained. “We also use ‘Mediterranean mooring’, which is like backing up a huge truck to a platform.”

Married with two daughters, Captain Kafetzis, who—in addition to Greek, his native language—speaks English (required of all crew) and Spanish, was drawn to shipping from an early age. Born and raised in the port of Piraeus, Greece, where his father worked in the shipping industry, the young boy watched ships entering the port and imagined himself traveling the world. His dream realized, he now travels with 2,900 guests and 1,230 crew members, and has many stories to share. (And so does his brother, who recently completed his first contract as Master of Celebrity Constellation!) Continue reading

Whales, Weather and the Wickaninnish Inn

Original Article by Lora Waugh for Hospitality Careers
Posted Monday, July 15, 2013

Why would anyone enjoy watching fierce winds and ocean storms? Imagine walking on a beach, the tide approaching, the ocean rapidly closing the distance to the shore. Walls of raging water rising, roaring, racing are engulfing the shore, crashing onto the rocky bluffs, bursting in wild clouds of spray. Such powerful storms exist in Tofino on Vancouver Island’s West Coast—the storm-watching capital of Canada.

Arriving in the small town of Tofino, I recognize British Columbia’s peaceful ‘West Coast’ character. I love the idyllic oceanfront resort, the Wickaninnish Inn, with its coastal architectural style and local, seasonally inspired cuisine.

The Inn has a unique history. The original Wickaninnish Inn operated from 1959 to 1978. It was situated further down the peninsula at a location now within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. In 1996, the McDiarmid Family opened this property in the spirit of the original inn, only now to be found on Chesterman Beach. Each year, the breathtaking beauty of the area draws thousands of domestic and international guests. Continue reading

Who says you can only have one career?

Original Article by Lora Waugh for Hospitality Careers
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Our guest to the Hcareers blog today is Mandy Wong. Mandy is the Community Partnerships Coordinator for the BC Lions Society – a program that raises funds for kids with disabilities in Vancouver, BC. Wong also works on weekends as a Day of Wedding (DOW) Coordinator at the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, BC, Canada. As a DOW Coordinator, Mandy is part of the venue staff providing support to the bride and groom, and making sure that their special day runs smoothly.  We sat down with Wong to get a glimpse into her career as a Wedding Coordinator.

LW: Please tell us something about your work.

MW: I work full time as a Community Partnerships Coordinator for the BC Lions Society raising funds for kids with disabilities to go to Easter Seals camps, and in addition, I coordinate weddings on weekends. I find some time to travel on weekends, and I’m also beginning several side businesses. When you are passionate about something, you can always find the time for it. Continue reading

Does it take the skills of Sherlock Holmes to complete a background check?

Original Article by Lora Waugh for Hospitality Careers
Posted Monday, May 13, 2013

“When people hear what I do, they think I look at resumes with a magnifying glass. Either that or they mutter something about ‘Big Brother,’” says Craig Caddell, General Manager of ReferencePro™ — a professional background-screening firm with a 24-hour operations center in Spokane, Washington.

Background checks are required for health care providers, commercial pilots and drivers, airport workers, and other professionals. Screening is necessary for government-regulated industries, such as the insurance industry, government-owned hospitality real estate businesses, radio and television broadcasting, marine shipping, ferry and port services, and most U.S. federal corporations (Crown corporations in Canada). Continue reading