by Barb Machado, former Executive Director San Antonio Hotel Association and Lifetime Short Course volunteer

Short Course is just around the corner – have you sent in your list of students?

There is something quite magical about Short Course! It has been a part of my hospitality life for over 30 years. Pushing aside retirement and the years on my mileage chart, I wouldn’t miss this exciting week for all the tea in China!

The excitement of the students, their interaction with others representing properties from all over the country is invigorating! Our speakers continue to return year after year and share with me the “jump start” the students give to each of them.

Last year, I got an enormous surprise when I looked at the list of enrollees from San Antonio and discovered 12 (yep, 12) students attending Short Course/Advanced Short Course from one hotel – and the smallest hotel in San Antonio!

The dozen attending represented the Hotel Emma – a star within its self! And what a representation! As I attended sessions throughout the week, I was amazed at the individual response from this gang of twelve to ask questions, interact with the speakers and to share the joy they experienced in their day to day activities at Emma.

How did they all get there at one time? Bill Petrella, Hotel Emma’s General Manager/VP sent out a message to his employees telling them about Short/Advanced and told them if they wanted to attend to write him an essay on why they should take off a week from their jobs to go to Houston to participate. Well, 12 responded and 12 came!

Several weeks after their return to work, the dozen made a presentation to Emma’s management team on their week’s work in Houston. I was invited to sit in on their planning sessions and to attend their presentation – which I might add blew me away!

They kept their audience interested and engaged for well over an hour! As time passed, Bill continued to meet with the group to talk about their individual jobs, specific experiences, any personal issues they might have and just in general to let them know he wanted to stay connected to their progress and growth as hoteliers.

Less than a year later, eight are still working at Emma and four have already been promoted! Those who are no longer there have moved to other cities and each has new jobs in the hospitality industry!

This upcoming edition of Short and Advance Courses will include 10 students from Hotel Emma and I will be right there to spur them on!

If you haven’t included your “stars” for the 2019 courses, do it today! It is an investment well worth making for you and especially for your hotel!

Follow this link to get your stars registered now: https://texaslodging.com/event/thlas-74th-annual-short-course/.

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