Marc Langevin, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, has been named “General Manager of the Year” for all Ritz-Carlton and Marriott properties in the Caribbean and Latin American region.
“There are around 80 hotels in that region,” Mr. Langevin said. “It was given to me for leadership performance in 2012.”
Nonetheless, it was something of a surprise when it was awarded at a special get-together of top Ritz-Carlton and Marriott executives in Maryland.
“When you work in my profession, you are too busy recognising your own ladies and gentlemen and working hard; you do not seek recognition yourself.
“But you know I take the blame if things go wrong, so I thought I could take credit, too,” he said, laughing.
The award, Mr. Langevin explained, was given during a tricky 2012 in which many things were at stake in the industry.
“Financially, as a team, we had to take calculated risks in the way we managed the hotel, operations, financial. Improvement was very important for the company. Sales and Marketing, food and beverage, operations all led the region and did exceptionally well to the extent that other people are looking at our strategy and following us.
“We are now back to pre-crisis numbers as we looked to maximise our opportunities.”
Efficiency and leadership
Controlling operational costs in the face of increased utility prices and rises in the cost of doing business meant there was a need to operate more efficiently, he explained.
“Leadership is all about balance. I needed to show a balanced approach to stakeholders in terms of owner expectations, financial, managing customer expectations, our ladies and gentlemen [the staff] and of course the Ritz-Carlton as a brand. None should be enhanced to the detriment of the other and the recognition I received was to say that all this was well-balanced.
“In fact, our ladies and gentlemen are the benchmark in terms of service for the region and the hotel is a benchmark, too,” he said.
He noted that a change of ownership during 2012 was something that could have led to a deflected focus, but he praised the team, which he said was able to negotiate this. Added to this was the continued renovation of the property’s five restaurants plus imminent room renovations.
“Leadership is not just about the present; it is also about the future,” Mr. Langevin said. “It is very important to set a vision for a team as to where we want to be in the future.”
The general manager has been in hospitality for 30 years and with the Ritz-Carlton for 12. Describing himself as “self-motivated”, he also praised his parents and those managers who had helped him over his career.
“I try and perform to the best of my ability but the recognition did feel good. The executive team I have is here with me every day and carry the burden so it is only right they share the glory and of course nothing would happen without our ladies and gentlemen.
“We have a very clear vision and understand what we must contribute to maintain that Ritz-Carlton mystique. My role is to make sure everyone works cohesively toward our common goals.”