As part of their training, they benefit from industry guest lectures giving them first-hand exposure to the industry and offering them a variety of perspectives from the industry. For example, this week the class heard from Ed Staniszewski, the General Manager of Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel. Staniszewski manages 180 rooms and 15 banquet and meeting halls in the 15,000 square feet hotel in Flushing, Queens. With over 20 years of industry experience, he has incredible insight into how to run a hotel successfully. He emphasized that the hotel industry is like a tree with lots of branches that students could follow on their career paths.
According to Staniszewski, there are many opportunities for personal growth and satisfaction in the industry. He advised the students to let things develop and come to them, telling them to be open to taking diversions and taking new opportunities’ when presented with them. Staniszewski discussed how he manages his team of 190 employees with the class. He admires the loyalty of his employees and works with them towards goals they set. He will come into the hotel to personally thank the employees who work every single night and during holidays.
Currently, his hotel is number one in North American Sheratons for cleanliness. He said, “That’s a huge feat for the room attendants to celebrate… They did it all themselves and that’s something we as a property are going to celebrate with the team.” He emphasized that he would never ask his employees to do something he would never do himself, even going so far as to vacuum his own office.
Staniszewski emphasized that he wants his employees to find their jobs satisfying. He said, “I don’t physically do the job, I manage all the people that do the job. I see that what is coming out of the employees reflects the direction we want to go.” Staniszewski works to coordinate the different departments. Once, he even had the housekeeping and front desk teams switch places for the day so that they could better understand each other’s concerns and challenges rather than feuding over having rooms cleaned for incoming guests and the workload of cleaning rooms adequately. He ended the discussion by saying he was “going back to the job I love to do.”