Inspiring a Culture of Excellence
AC Hotel | Atlanta Buckhead at Phipps Plaza
Inspiring a culture of service has led to success for Matt and his team.
As I have moved through my career, this is the part of our industry that always keeps me grounded. To me, there’s nothing better than being able to find a way to make a guest’s day or just simply having a 10 minute conversation with a ‘stranger’ as it reminds me why I chose to work in the hotel business.
General Manager Matt Parsons knows how to work well with a team and collaborate with others as he, along with his more than 60 associates at the AC Hotel Atlanta Buckhead, demonstrated as winners of Interstate Hotels & Resorts’ Hotel of the Year Award for 2018. As a strong leader, Matt has embraced the Interstate culture from day one, modeling an exceptional service style and training his staff and associates to believe in our values and standards every day.
Matt’s first hotel job after college was with a Ramada Inn in Raleigh, NC, moving through four cities and three hotel brands as his career progressed. “Hospitality has always been a passion for me as it’s the only industry I’ve ever known,” said Matt. His favorite part of the hospitality industry is pleasing his guests. “As I have moved through my career, this is the part of our industry that always keeps me grounded. To me, there’s nothing better than being able to find a way to make a guest’s day or just simply having a 10 minute conversation with a ‘stranger’ as it reminds me why I chose to work in the hotel business.”
To Matt, an experience from his Interstate career that will always resonate with him was winning the Hotel of the Year Award and celebrating with his team. “While I’ve received individual accolades in the past, I’m nothing without the team behind me so having the honor of being able to share the total team award with them is a memory I won’t forget.”
Interstate is not the only one that has taken notice of Matt and the team’s performance.
Several more awards fill the AC Hotel Atlanta Buckhead’s trophy case, including the AC Hotels Opening Hotel of the Year Award from Marriott International; the General Manager of the Year Award from the Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association; and most recently, the General Manager of the Year Award from the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA).
Matt displays incredible teamwork and collaboration skills on a daily basis while working with his fellow associates. He believes that two qualities every leader should have are integrity and accountability. “We all have areas we can improve upon but if we don’t have trust in each other and the ability to acknowledge shortcomings and mistakes, it’s hard to build a team.” The best leadership advice he has ever received, he says, was from a motivational speaker at a conference. She told the participants to never blow out someone’s candle: listen to the idea, tweak their idea, or take that as an opportunity to teach them something they may not know or understand about the business if the idea isn’t feasible. Every day, he carries out this advice. To Matt, it’s important to be honest, to be humble, and to listen more than you talk.
The Interstate value that most closely aligns with my own values is Think We, Not Me
It’s impossible to run an operation that never closes all by yourself, so developing bonds and mentoring our team members is the key to a successful hotel.