My responsibility starts and ends with making a difference. Whether it’s ensuring our DKN culture and values permeate our entire organization or that we continue to grow and create, my work is to always move us in the direction of our vision. I started in Accounting and quickly decided that I did not like the career path I had chosen. Jumped ship, took the risk of managing family finances, and got into the hotel business by acquiring 2 hotels. Since 1984, we’ve bought, sold and developed 40+ hotels. And I firmly believe that we’ve gotten to this place because of our culture and our people.
With more than 20 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry, I currently lead the Operations Team at DKN. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management and Tourism and an MBA with an emphasis in Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego.
I have a passion to develop team members, provide excellent customer service, and make every hotel financially successful. I’m a part of a team that sets goals and strategies for the hotels and has a true passion to bring the strengths of each person alive and with my role of leading the Support Center Leadership Team (which includes Operations, Sales & Marketing, Revenue Management, IT, HR, and Third Party Management) I am able to do what I love every day! My passion for hospitality and people have helped DKN Hotels gain recognition as a company that lives its culture and values and makes a positive difference in people’s lives.
You could call me the therapist, big sister, old wise one, tear wiper, policy officer, judge, rule maker, enforcer, peacekeeper, life of the party, cheerleader, watchdog, gatekeeper — or as most know it, the HR director. I started in HR in 2002, by happenstance! I was a supervisor in the tele-sales department of MBNA America and the HR admin had gone on maternity leave. The HR Director asked if I’d lend a hand, and it was a natural fit! I’ve been in HR in many fields, but I found my passion in Hospitality. Today, among the slew of HR responsibilities (which I’ll spare you), I also sit on our SCLT (Support Center Leadership Team), manage our onboarding process, and ensure that our DKN team members live by our culture and values.
Starting in the hotel Front Office while attending California State University of Dominguez Hills for a bachelor in Business Administration, I worked my way through the hotel industry in a variety of positions, including Front Office Manager, Assistant General Manager and General Manager in multiple hotels across several California markets. As General Manager, my proven financial results and entrepreneurial drive, propelled me to Regional Director of Revenue Management, supervising all Revenue Management and Distribution functions for a diverse group of hotels. // With more than 13 years in the hospitality industry under my belt, I now serve as the Director of Revenue Management for DKN Hotels. In this role, I have effectively merged my skillset with DKN’s profound culture and taken a holistic approach to growing the department and creating synergy with the Sales and Marketing departments.
I love developing people and guiding them into successful, well rounded sales professionals. My first job at a hotel was Night Audit. I quickly realized that the lodging industry was what I wanted to do. Once I made the decision to make a career out of hotels, the doors began to open. I’ve pretty much held every position a hotel has to offer, from Operations to Sales. I’ve been fortunate to work for amazing companies like Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, and now DKN. Having a creative mind has proven a strength for me at DKN. DKN has given me the freedom to innovate and apply my ideas in what I do. My favorite thing about DKN is the Three Legged Stool philosophy. I have embraced it as it comes naturally and I truly believe in it. I feel that my team and I have been successful because of it, and because of it, we will find success.
With 35 years in the hospitality industry, doing everything from washing dishes to owning a hotel, I now work as the Director of Operations, where I get to lead and mentor our General Manager team. I get to add value by teaching the leaders of our business units to think and act like owners, within the framework of DKN’s unique culture. I’ve worked for a lot of companies in my life-long hospitality career, but never one that actually lived the values that it professed. In all of my interactions with with my team in the field and at the Support Center, these principles are our guiding force. I think one thing that’s interesting is how the focus on “Culture” does not mean an acceptance of poor performance or lack of hard work. The values are in place to guide hard work but not to mitigate it, and I constatly see examples of our key people actually being committed to this organization in ways that can’t be just for show.
I am the Controller here at DKN and am responsible for managing our finances. I received my Accounting degree in India and started by managing general accounts. Here, at DKN, I am able to manage this fund like it is my own and that trust is invaluable. As you’ve probably heard it a million times, we’re all family here.
I would say at about 16 years old, I knew I liked the hospitality industry. And that never changed, but my attention turned once I started learning IT. I ended up here when I was looking for a change in companies. I came across that DKN job posting and couldn’t be more excited — I’d be able to continue my career in technology and also be involved in the hospitality world. Although I operate out of our Support Center, you can find me regularly at the job site, coordinating our low voltage subcontractor efforts, placing AV systems on our design drawings or developing DKN Pulse – a proprietary software that’s taking us to the next level, operationally.
I came to the US in 1995 with a degree and experience in Nursing. Being new to the country, I took the opportunity to work at the front desk in a hotel far from the Nursing degree I earned in college. I am blessed, fortunate and privileged that I found my home at DKN Hotels 20 years ago. DKN Hotels had given me the opportunity to grow and learn the different aspects of the hotel business over the years. I started working at the hotel Front Desk and made it to being a General Manager. Learning became even more fun and exciting when I took the opportunity to work directly with the big boss. There was so much to learn in payroll, planning an event, Real Estate, Financing, Admin, Development, Procurement, Project Accounting…etc. and I must say, learning all of these made it so easy because of DKN’s Culture and Values. I come to work not because I have to but because I love what I do. I am proud to be part of DKN Hotels team and I’m forever grateful.
I do whatever is needed at DKN. My official job title? Operations Support Manager, which means I support the hotel with whatever operational support they may need. I lead trainings and workshops for DKN including DKN University, GM Summits, Support Center Open Houses and The Ladder. I love what I do because it’s dynamic — it’s constantly changing depending on the needs of DKN and it’s team members. I got into the hospitality industry about 15 years ago working for the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point as a Guest Service Agent wearing a full wool suite and standing (no sitting unless you were on lunch) for 10 hours a day. I met my mentor there, Brenda Stoner, who brought me to DKN where she had been a GM and 11 years later, here I am — tie, but no wool suit.
I got here by default, but if there was ever a fluke, this was the best one to have happened. About 13 years ago, Jeanie was getting a little overloaded, so I took on the responsibility of Payroll and taught myself the ropes — from figuring out how things needed to work, to learning the systems and processes. The initiatives I am most proud of and where I got to make a significant difference, was in the development and implementation of the HR/Payroll, T&A and SOP systems, allowing for streamlining and easy adoption. We at DKN strive to make a difference, and you can see that in one my favorite programs — Home Away from Home. Hearing about the passion our team members have to make guests feel at home during our Friday stand-ups is a great way to end the week.
This year will mark my 11th year at DKN, where I now serve as the HR Coordinator. I came to DKN through family; two of my sisters are former DKN Team Members, who described DKN as being the perfect fit for me and my kids. They were right, as usual. Who gets to celebrate their boss’ birthday by playing volleyball, hiking and having tea at his home? We strive to make a home away from home, be it at our hotels or at support center. This, I think, is why I’m most motivated to come to work — so I can create a home away from home, here at support center.
After earning my MA in Economics, I became involved in poverty and development initiatives in the Phillipines. In 2002, I moved to the US to be with family and have since worked in the Real Estate & Mortgage, Consulting and Construction industries. / In 2016, an opportunity at DKN came to my attention. I clearly remember my interview at Support Center which started around 10am and lasted into the lunch hour, past noon. After the interview, the big boss (he hates that term) insisted on giving me a banana and granola bar (photo attached)- that seemingly tiny gesture had a monumental impact on me. I felt that this was a company that genuinely cared. I joined DKN as a Project Accountant, providing support to our D&C team. My hunch after my interview has been proven right- here at DKN, relationships, values and people truly matter. And no matter what challenges you face, someone’s always got your back.
I am currently in the Design & Construction department, where I work with design firms and brands to make sure we deliver the best possible product for our market. Before this, I was in a myriad of roles as I grew up in the hospitality industry. The most interesting and impactful roles I had were when I had the opportunity to fly to NZ and Australia to start our FIT program and when I was given the responsibility of starting our Accounting Department out of our Ramada Inn, way back when we had acquired our 5th property.
I studied at the University of Arkansas in Business and then realized I wasn’t being fulfilled. Drawing and a fascination with interiors of all sorts had always interested me ever since I was a little girl. From taking art classes all the way through college to moving furniture around and accessorizing for family and friends, I decided it was time to make the move to California and attended the Interior Designer’s Institute. I dove into architectural interiors because I was interested in the guts of a building and how that can affect the space and depict what your design can develop into. The design development is what interested me and how you stay on track, budget and make sure all is accounted for.
I then went onto a company that specialized in sales offices, leasing centers and interactive display design. I gained knowledge in commercial interiors and graphics over the course of 3 years. So here at DKN it’s great to be on the other side and be able to have the Designer’s present and see what they come up with for a hotel’s look for our owners/investors.
With over 25 years in the Hotel and Resort Development industry, building all over the world it is a pleasure now to be part of the DKN team. I started my hotel/resort career with Marriott and worked directly for their Design & Construction department for 19 years that provided me a solid foundation in the Hospitality industry. I also hold an Executive MBA from Tulane University that helps me manage the business of building hotels. The hospitality industry gets under your skin, there is nothing like seeing the faces and eyes of the first guests that walk into a hotel that is brand new. DKN shares my passion for the Hospitality business and striving to make the guest experience the best it can be. DKN also has a deep respect and commitment to their people. All team members are treated as family and the core values that they hold so important are lived on daily basis. DKN is a place that you can work hard and have fun doing it.
I have been with DKN for almost 2 years now and so far I am having FUN… a lot of work but FUN! I learned so much and gained friends managing and coordinating the procurement side of the Design and Construction Team for Renovations and New Hotel Projects. I have a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of the Philippines and worked with restaurants back home. When I got here in the US, I was given opportunities to work in the Hospitality Industry starting from the Operations side, as a Front Desk Agent. I always look forward to learning new things and discovering my hidden talents.
I came to DKN Hotels 22 years ago with management experience in distribution and retail as well as owning and operating a retail business. Over the years I have had various roles within DKN Hotels, but my main focus has been in operations and construction. These roles have given me the opportunity to interact with various departments, vendors and team members, which I find to be one of the most rewarding parts of the job. It is because of this that I respect and value their contribution to overall success.
In 2014, I helped open up the Springhill Suites in Anaheim with DKN. A year after, I was offered a position at Support Center in general accounting, where I learned the ropes from Fred. Another year later, and I took over as Accounting Manager where I now oversee accounting for the properties, and am responsible for P&Ls being completed on a timely and accurate basis. My background is in business, where I received my bachelors from CSUF (I have been contemplating a masters…). One of the reasons I am a part of DKN is because of team work. There was a huge difference between when I helped open up a previous SpringHill Suites to when I opened up the one with DKN. It’s only with DKN that the owner of the company was there as well, helping out until late at night. We’re all equals on our team and we treat each other as family.
In my role as Accounts Payable, I get to make hotel GM’s and vendors happy, by getting accounts paid so they’re able to keep flowing with day to day needs. When I first started at DKN, we were a new team, and over the last year, we’ve created a synchronous, collaborative and trusting environment within our department. Aside from the day to day, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in a couple of programs DKN has volunteered for — such as the Special Olympics torch run in Long Beach, where we were able to give back to a great cause.