If there’s one name that is instantly-recognised by visitors to The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, it’s Leroy Jordan.
The popular employee was named Accommodations Employee of the Year at the 2012 Stingray Awards, presented by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, and with typical modesty he smiled his delight at the recognition.
“It was exciting to be recognised for my effort and love of the industry,” he said.
“I was there at the ceremony with colleagues. Everyone knows each other and we were there together. Actually, it was the first award of the night and it was quite the honour. I received a lot of Facebook messages of congratulation and it felt great.”
Mr. Jordan’s career at The Ritz-Carlton was interrupted in 2009 when he was rolled over, but he reappeared a year later, first at Rum Point and then back in September 2010 to the hotel, which he loves.
“It is a great place; I have learnt a lot. I threw myself into a PA position. Going home for that year really made me miss it. But now I appreciate it more,” he said.
His personal assistant role is varied, he added, but it is ultimately all about making people happy.
“They come in with a handshake and leave with a hug. First, we may correspond online about their needs and then when the guests walk through the door it is where it all starts. We welcome them then they recognise you and because we’ve been talking already we feel we know each other.
“I am always with them to check all is OK. Sometimes when people come here time is of the essence for them so they want it to be streamlined and they appreciate it.
“Anyone who rents the suites at rack rates has access to two personal assistants; we are like roaming concierges,” Mr. Jordan said.
As well as requiring an in-depth knowledge of and love for the Cayman Islands – something Mr. Jordan has accumulated over his 13 years here almost by osmosis – he said that the guests’ experiences must come first.
“They are the No. 1 priority; drop what you are doing and get it done for them without a song and dance. The reward comes in knowing that the guest is happy.
“When people say that you have made their trip, that is really great. It is a delicate balance of confidence and anticipating the needs of these CEOs and celebrities before they express them almost. You wear a lot of hats and, of course, there are times when we have to say no, without saying no. You have to understand what people are looking for and urgently so,” Mr. Jordan said.
He added that some people are more laid back than others and one of the skills required is to instantly be able to pick up on the guests’ vibe and mirror it. Celebrities and high-profile people rate Cayman for some specific reasons, he concluded.
“The island is good with people and not intrusive,” Mr. Jordan said.
“For the most part, people back away and let them enjoy themselves. Some of the celebrities can be nervous of being robbed, but they start to relax when they realise Cayman is a very laid back place where people tend to treat them with a lot of respect.
“This job does mean you see stars when they are out of the limelight. They are normal people enjoying themselves and valuing time with their families. They appreciate that we are able to enhance that.”