Short Course Alumni Q&A - Meet David Hutton
From El Paso Bellboy to Beverly Hills General Manager
This quarter we chat with General Manager and Short Course Alumni David Hutton.
David says, "Dreams do come true!" Making minimum wage for years, getting yelled at by guests, early in his career David says there were times he wanted to run out the door and give up.
But he developed a thick skin, learned to not take things personally and discovered guests were upset with the situation, not him. He worked hard, "real real hard."
David says he mastered the art of service and always put himself in his guest's shoes. And his career grew.
Then as his career continued to grow he says "I began to put myself in my owner's shoes. I realized hoteliers have three groups they must please: The Guests, The Employees, and the Ownership.
"You have to find that balance because it is very challenging to please everyone equally. The secret? Take care of your employees. You keep them happy and they will take of your guests, and in turn the guests take care of your owners."
What is your name and job title?
David Hutton / General Manager / Courtyard by Marriott Century City / Beverly Hills.
How long have you been with this brand or company?
What was your first hotel industry job?
Bellhop at a 272 room Full Service Hilton.
What is your hometown?
El Paso, Texas!
What would you say are hotel must- haves?
Location. A staff that embodies a culture of service and pride in their property. Clean rooms. Comfortable beds. Food & Beverage options.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Never take No for an answer. Just because one person, company, or potential investor tells you "No," do not give up. Eventually you will find your “Yes."
What inspires you?
Growing Others. Pushing individuals to do and think like they never have before and then watching them flourish.
Who do you look up to at work?
I look up to everyone from the Dishwasher, to the Housekeeper, to the Owner. You can learn something from everyone. Everyone brings their talents to the table, and being able to learn from them is an inspiration in itself.
Who invested in you attending THLA’s Advanced Short Course?
I won a scholarship by writing a paper. But Ultimately the El Paso Hotel Motel Association.
What was your most memorable moment at Advanced Short Course?
Scott Joslove. He is brilliant, he is a wealth of knowledge, and really sparks the desire to succeed in our Global Industry.
How has attending THLA’s Advanced Short Course influenced your job?
It pushed me harder, to reach for the stars. Affirmed my passion for the industry and my desire to never stop growing.
Why would you recommend others to attend Advanced Short Course?
You will be surrounded by the best of the best. Everyone from a Bed and Breakfast to the Four Seasons. The energy and the creativity from all the experience in the room is amazing; It is very humbling. Looks good on the resume' as well.
What advice do you have for the next generation on hoteliers?
Learn as much as you can, be like a sponge. Learn as many departments as you can. Do not stay at one property too long. Every hotel is different, every owner is different, every market is different. Get out of your comfort zone. Apply for positions; see what is out there. Practice your interview skills. Get your name out there.
What’s next for you and your career?
After 16 years I just made GM, greatest assignment of my career yet. I want to be a successful GM, I want my property to be in the top 10% of the Brand. I want to win Hotel of the Year, GM of the Year. After that, I want to own my own hotel. Only time will tell.
Follow my career on Instagram @mrhilton thank you for the feature!