The Grove Park Innsider

Congratulations to our Employee of the Quarter! by Deborah
July 28, 2011, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Human Resources | Tags: ,

Meet Nancy Campbell, our Empoyee of the Second Quarter at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa!

Here’s what Nancy’s co-workers had to when they nominated her:

It is our honor to nominate Nancy Campbell for Employee of the 2nd Quarter. Words do little justice in describing this outstanding employee and person. Nancy inspires us by the hard work and dedication she exhibits every day she puts on her GPI uniform. She is quick to smile and have a kind word for all those who are fortunate to cross paths with her.  She performs her duties with grace and dignity; not coincidently, the same way she treats others.

Nancy served on the previous Culture Council and was always front and center when Culture came calling. From manning tables in front of the Melting Pot to painting the smoking bathrooms to getting up at 4AM on her day off to work “crowd control” at the Culture yard sale, Nancy gave her best to live the Culture of GPI.  None of  this is surprising to anyone who knows her, especially those who have been lucky enough to work with her. The words “can’t” and “no” do not seem to be in her vocabulary.

It is said that the little things in life make the biggest difference. They must have been thinking about Nancy Campbell when they wrote that. We are fortunate to have Nancyas a purchasing teammate; uniquely OURS, uniquely YOURS!

Congratulations Nancy!

Meet Our Employee of the Quarter by Deborah
June 7, 2011, 3:52 pm
Filed under: Human Resources, Security | Tags: ,

Congratulations to Gary Pounders, our 1st quarter of 2011 Employee of the Quarter. Gary has been a member of The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa family for 3 years, and he is dedicated to our Vision,Mission and Values. Here is what the Resort Manager who nominatedGary had to say:

 “Gary Pounders is a living example of Grove Park Inn’s finest!  As one of our Security Team Leaders,Garytakes on quite a bit of responsibility for the safety and security of our guests, employees and Grove Park Inn assets.  In addition to his regular duties as a Team Leader for the Second Shift Security Team,Garytakes it upon himself to initiate other responsibilities as he sees the need.

“Gary’s kind, helpful and common sense attitude toward employees and guests alike is the best example of our Grove Park Inn values and culture.  He never loses his “cool” to anyone about anything. Gary’s calm, reassuring and confident demeanor comes in very handy when dealing with a guest or employee accident.  He has a great “bedside manner,” and many guests who have been attended to byGaryhave commented on how fantastic he was while assisting them.”

Congratulations Gary!!

Golf and Culture by Deborah
May 23, 2011, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Golf, Human Resources

More than 100 employees showed up this year to play in the 4th Annual GPI Culture Council Sponsored, Captain Bob’s Golf Tournament. Captain Bob’s Tournament is a popular event here.  It has become one of the largest fund raising events for The Legacy Fund.  Sponsored and organized by the GPI Culture Council, the tournament allows employees and their families to play on our beautiful Donald Ross course at a very special rate.

The Legacy Fund is a unique collaborative effort with Eblen Charities that provides monetary gifts or interest free loans for GPI Family members in times of need.  The Legacy Fund is funded entirely byGroveParkemployees through either direct payroll deduction or through various fund raisers.  When a GPI Family member is in need, they can reach out to the fund for assistance- its family helping family, and that’s what we at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa are all about!

A cookout lunch was provided to the golfers, and the rest of the GPI Family was invited to purchase a lunch plate, with all proceeds benefitting the Legacy Fund. Captain Bob’s Golf Tournament raised $7783.12 for the Legacy Fund.  Congratulations to our Culture Council and to all the golfers who helped to make this year’s event such a huge success.

Meet Our Employee and Rock Solid Leader of the Year by Deborah
April 11, 2011, 12:05 pm
Filed under: Human Resources

Here at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa we refer to our co-workers as our family. Part of our mission statement is “Everyone Matters, Everything Counts” and that applies to our employees as well as our guests. Every year the staff at GPI votes on a Rock Solid Leader of the Year and an Employee of the Year. These employees are nominated by their co-workers. We would like to share parts of those nominations with you now as we introduce our 2010 Employee of the Year and Rock Solid Leader.

                                    Rock Solid Leader – LaJuanda Bond

LaJuanda Bond is the senior Meetings Express manager in the Sales Department.  If you aren’t sure what Meetings Express does, a quick explanation is that they are a combination of “sales manager, convention services manager, wedding planner, hand-holder, order-taker, creator of special moments…”  The list goes on and on.  LaJuanda manages to cover most of our Values, and she does it with a joyous spirit.  In a normal year, just being one of two Meetings Express managers, handling over 8000 room nights, 250+ group events, and over 3 million in revenue, deserves recognition.  In 2010, however, LaJuanda almost singlehandedly managed and ran the Meetings Express Department, as the second manager and assistant positions were constantly fluctuating.   While handling this department, training new employees, LaJuanda consistently scores 100% satisfaction from the meeting planners in their group surveys, setting an example for her coworkers.

                                  Employee of the Year – Troy Gentry

Troy Gentry has been a loyal employee for The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa for over 20 years. Troy has served as a member of our Culture Committee. He has a strong commitment to our corporate culture, mission, vision and values which he demonstrates in everything he does.   Troy has had perfect attendance for the whole 20 years that he has work at Grove Park Inn.  Troy works closely with our weddings on a daily basis.  He personally answers every wedding inquiry that comes into the resort.  He takes the time to answer their many questions and always does it with a positive attitude. 

Congratulations to LaJunda and Troy!

Doing Our Part by Deborah
March 4, 2011, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Human Resources | Tags: ,

Employees at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa do a lot of things to try and give back to our community. From coat and blanket drives in the winter, to donating our used furniture and appliances to local charities, to raising money to help our fellow employees in need — we are always up to something good at GPI. :)   This week, it’s our annual food drive to help out Manna Food Bank.

Like many of our community service activities, the annual food drive at GPI is headed up by our Culture Council. Members have been collecting canned food and other non perishables for several weeks now. Culture members put out big donation bins in several employee areas throughout the resort. Today, we delivered the last of several loads of food to Manna. While today’s donation weighed in at just under 350 pounds, Manna is still totaling up all the food they have collected from our resort while the drive has been underway. But it’s safe to say that the food donated by GPI employees will help feed hundreds of people.

Manna Food Bank nutritionists say the average person needs about 1.2 pounds of food per meal. Over the years, we are proud to have donated thousands of pounds of food to Manna Food Bank to help feed our neighbors across Western North Carolina. Giving back is just a small part of what we here at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa call legendary service.

Love is in the Air by Deborah
February 8, 2011, 11:28 am
Filed under: Human Resources

Valentines Day is a special time at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa (GPI). Lovers young and old flock to our resort to celebrate Valentines with our big, cozy fireplaces, award winning restaurants and incredible views. But in addition to taking care of our guests on Valentines, we also share the love with our fellow employees throughout the resort.  :)


Our Culture Council is in the process of selling “Culture Grams” for Valentines Day. For $1, employees can send a card and a candy bar to a fellow employee. The sweet treats will be delivered to employees at their desks, in our kitchens, at our Spa — and even though there’s snow on the ground — we won’t forget those folks down at the golf course. Members of our Culture Council personally deliver the Valentines. Some employees even send Culture Grams to themselves for Valentines. After all — we’re talking chocolate here! :)  You will also see roving balladeers throughout the resort on Valentines Day. Many members of our current Culture Council are prolific singers. So there’s gonna be a whole lot of serenading going on come Monday!

 The Valentines Day sales and other fundraisers sponsored by our Culture Council have a serious purpose. All the money that is raised goes to the GPI Legacy Fund. The Legacy Fund is a unique collaborative effort with Eblen Charities that provides monetary gifts or interest free loans for GPI Family members in times of need.  The Legacy Fund is funded entirely by Grove Park employees through either direct payroll deduction or through various fund raisers.  When a GPI Family member is in need, they can reach out to the fund for assistance- its family helping family. And that’s just one more way that we at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa share the love!

Meet Our Employee of the Quarter by Deborah
February 3, 2011, 1:44 pm
Filed under: Human Resources

Congratulations to Teofilo Arredondo of our Housekeeping Division and our Employee of the Quarter!

Here is what the person who nominated Teofilo, or Teo as we call him, wrote: 

 “Teo has all the values you look for in an employee of the quarter recipient. The knowledge, service and character Teo brings to the resort every day is difficult to top. He always stops to say hello to guests and employees, and truly takes pride in GPI. There are few family members at the resort that are as versatile within one department as Teo. In the past several months we have asked him to perform room attendant, house attendant, deep clean and project work. Not included in that list is the floor care, stockroom, public area and evening shift work that Teo has been versatile enough to perform in years past. Chances are, if there has been a position in the housekeeping department for the last two decades, Teo has probably learned and done it well enough to train others.”

“To me, dependability encompasses one who can be asked to do many tasks responsibly while maintaining high standards of quality. Teo has proven himself over and over again in this area throughout many years of service here at GPI. We were lucky to celebrate Teo’s 20th anniversary at the resort in 2010. He has seen many changes take place at the resort in terms of personnel, renovations, new openings and culture changes. What we now identify as the Grove

Park Inn Resort & Spa looked very different when Teo started in 1990. One thing that has stayed the same during that span has been Teo’s dedication and service to our guests. Looking through his 3-folder file, I ran across a note dated to 1993 from the supervisor to the manager in housekeeping at the time. It read: Teofilo Arredondo: He will work day or night. He always gives 100% and he always does his job with a smile. He always makes my job easier by being so agreeable and friendly. I appreciate him and thought you’d like to know. Then and through today, I believe these words are still true.”

 Congratulations Teo. The GPI family is proud of you!

Meet Our Employee of The Quarter by Deborah
November 2, 2010, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Human Resources, Rooms | Tags: ,

Congratulations to our Employee of the Third Quarter, Daniel Campbell. Here is what Daniel’s managers wrote as part of his nomination:

“Daniel is a wonderful example of what an employee/family member is at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa.  Daniel has worked in several areas of the Resort since he began in 2008.  He has made contacts throughout the Resort due to his outgoing personality.  Daniel started in the housekeeping department in 2009 as a carpet attendant.  He has proven to be invaluable in many ways.  Daniel has cleaned just about every public area at the Resort, he has removed trash, he has moved furniture, he has inspected guest rooms, he has assisted in the Renovation of the Main Inn guest rooms and the list goes on and on. 

Daniel walks our public areas each morning to spot and correct any opportunity before most guests are up and about.   He is extremely observant and makes notes of anything that is out of place or needs additional attention and he corrects it either by doing it himself or reporting the problem to those who need to know. 

If Willingness was one of our core values at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Daniel would exemplifly it.  His willingness to create a positive work environment, willingness to take on anything asked of him, willingness to make the Resort a better experience for all guests and willingness to come in every day with a smile and a great spirit. For all the values we do have, Daniel upholds each one proudly. 

When you ask Daniel what he thinks of his position at the Resort in the Housekeeping Department his response is “I love it”.  This is a true sign of a positive representation of a Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa family member.”

Congratulations again Daniel!

Changing Culture by Deborah

Part of our mission statement at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa is “Everyone Matters, Everything Counts.”  You will also hear our employees talk a lot about “Culture”. We have a “Culture Council” at Grove Park. The Council is made up of employees from all areas of the resort. They work diligently to improve our culture in the workplace, and they help out fellow employees.

The Grove Park Inn  “Cultural Revolution” began September 15, 1999 and is now comprised of 50 current employees who have served as Culture Council members. We recently named a new Culture Council — our eighth so far — who will help guide our resort for the next 18 months. Congratulations to these new Culture Council members:

Kathy Harris – Culture Chairperson: Kathy was born and resides here in Western North Carolina.  She currently lives in Marion, NC with her husband Robert and son Robby.  When not at GPI, Kathy enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, reading and scrapbooking.  Kathy has served in Laundry Management since July 2000. She is very active in ALM (Association for Linen Management) and NCAILM (North Carolina Chapter of ALM) where she currently serves as the NCAILM Secretary and on the ALM Educational Affairs Committee.  Kathy is also the Conference Director for the Southeastern Educational Conference and was recognized as the North Carolina 2009 Laundry/Linen Manager of the Year.

Ann DeMuth: Ann been part of the Grove Park Inn family since July 2009.  She works as the Senior Accounts Payable Clerk in Accounting.  Originally from Akron, Ohio, she has happily called Asheville home for the last three years.  Having moved here from the Washington, DC area, she treasures the mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway, hiking, the cultural offerings of WNC and the lack of traffic jams on a daily basis.  Ann’s daughter, Lindsay, lives in White River Junction, VT and her son, Jonathan, lives in Manhattan.

Ann Smart: Ann has been a family member since November 2006.  She is originally from New Hampshire and now lives in Oteen.  Ann was hired in the Blue Ridge kitchen, and after 3 years was promoted to the Melting Pot  supervisor. Ann truly enjoys seeing her Grove Park family members everyday and offering them a meal. Ann talks to her daughter, son-in-law and 1 year old granddaughter in New Hampshire every day.

Brent Edmondson: Brent has been a GPI family member since 2007 and currently heads the Telecommunications department.  He is from eastern North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1984.  Brent is thrilled to be back in NC after living  in Memphis and Chicago for the previous 15 years.  In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, golf, making people laugh, and playing with his Shih Tzu Mr. Coffee.

Catalina Slater: Catalina has been a GPI Family member since 2007, and works in Marketing as the Graphic Design Manager.  Her family is from Costa Rica. They love to visit Asheville. Cat lives in West Asheville with her husband, JD and beagle, Bacon.  She loves all things art, music and history. The most important aspect of the GPI Culture to Cat is family. She is proud to serve her GPI family.

Don Reece: Don Reece has been a family member since 1986 and currently works in In Room Dining as an IRD Captain.  He is originally from Jamaica in the Caribbean.  He came to The Grove Park Inn after working 2 years & 6 months aboard a cruise ship, the SS Amerikanis.  He went to school in Jamaica and most of his family is still living in Jamaica. He likes meeting people, travel, and enjoys most sports, soccer, basketball and cricket not a popular sport in the US.  He feels honored and privileged to serve on our Culture Council for the next 18 months.

Elsa Allstaedt: Elsa has been a GPI family member since November 2008 and currently works in the Convention Services department as an Assistant to the Convention Managers. She graduated from UNCA in 2006 and has lived in the area most of her life.  She lives with her boyfriend Todd who also works at GPI.  She enjoys running, biking, spending time with her family and friends and having fun.

Jeff St. Peters: Jeff has been a GPI family member since December 1996, and currently works in the Spa as Manager of Professional Services.  He has worked in the Spa since the inception as a licensed Massage therapist and esthetician. He received GPI Employee of the Year in 1996. Jeff raised his little sister Rachel, who he is very proud of. He enjoys living in Asheville and partakes of all the beauty and culture it has to offer.

Jennifer Phillips: Jennifer Phillips has been a GPI family member since December 2004, and currently works in the Golf Department as the Golf Operations Assistant.  She lives in Weaverville with her family and boxer Bailey.  Some of her hobbies include trout fishing with her Dad, trying out new recipes, and curling up with a good book.  The most important part of the GPI Culture to Jennifer is the sense of Family that is unique to GPI.

Jessica Holcombe: Jessica has been a GPI family member since September of 2008, and currently works in the Spa as a Nail Technician. Jessica has been a resident of the lovely little town of Leicester her entire life and has a passion for classic cars. Some of her hobbies include playing softball, shopping, hiking and hanging out with friends.


John Beatty: John joined the GPI family in February 2007. As the Special Projects Coordinator, John’s primary responsibilities are managing the sales and marketing efforts of The Fitzgerald and serving at GPI’s policy liaison. After growing up mostly in Charlotte, John went to college in New York where he studied theatre, got an itch for public policy, and met his wife Anne. He loves Ruth’s pimento cheese, Mama B’s spoon bread, playing racquetball and hearing his son Mason giggle.

Kendra Wright: Kendra has been a GPI family member since April 2006. She began working as a Front Desk Agent and currently works in Human Resources as a Jr. Generalist.  Kendra is a native of Asheville and currently resides in Woodfin. She has a 16 month old daughter, Aaliyah Rose and enjoys taking her to the park, spending time with family, shopping, and watching sports with friends.

Marcus Amos: Marcus has been a GPI family member since September 2006. He is a Security team leader, on first shift. Marcus is from Murphy, North Carolina, and has lived in Canton for the past 8 years. He has three children, his son Tristin, and two daughters Anna and Mikayla. He enjoys working on cars, golfing and fishing.

Mary Anne Young: Mary Anne has been a GPI family member since 2008 working in Guest Services as an elevator operator in the Great Hall.  She moved to Asheville from Pennsylvania to buy Applewood Manor in Montford. Before coming to GPI, she spent nine years at Biltmore House as a history guide.  She loves to play golf, and has taught and played the acoustic bass for 37 years.

Mike Cheek: Mike joined the GPI family in October 2004 and has spent that time in Purchasing. Mike is a North Carolina native, but working in the entertainment industry took him away and eventually landed him in New York for several years.  He is glad to be back in the land of big yards and starry skies. Mike loves animals and currently enjoys the company of his two dogs; JJ, rescued locally and Pedro, rescued from San Pedro, Belize.

Pam Stywalt: Pam is from Charlotte. She has worked at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa for seven years in the Melting Pot, the Laundry Department and in Guest Services as a valet driver.  Her commitment to GPI values is exemplary and love, family fun and hard work are her priorities.  Pam has been very successful.  She considers GPI family as her own and cherishes the people she works with.

Roz Neuhauser: Although a Yankee by birth, (New York, NY) Roz grew up a Southerner, living by the salt marshes of Savannah, GA. Having grown up in a family of foodies, Roz fell in love with good food, especially anything sweet. :) She has worked in the Banquet Kitchen preparing pastries, breads and other desserts since 2007.  She also loves the outdoors, traveling, swimming, and her four-footed children, Pika and Kitz.

Meet Our Employee of the Quarter by Deborah
August 30, 2010, 3:52 pm
Filed under: Human Resources | Tags: ,

Congratulations to Troy Gentry from the Convention Services Department, our new Employee of the Quarter.  Troy has been a loyal employee of The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa for more than 20 years. Troy has served as a member of our Culture Committee. He has a strong commitment to our corporate culture, mission, vision and values which he demonstrates in everything he does. Troy has had perfect attendance for the whole 20 years that he has worked at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. Troy works closely with our weddings department on a daily basis. He personally answers every wedding inquiry that comes into the resort. He takes the time to answer the many questions our clients have and he always does it with a positive attitude. Troy updates the Wedding Calendar on our inhouse intranet on a weekly basis. He answers our “Customer Hot Line” and makes sure our guests needs are taken care of immediately. Troy does all Purchase Orders for groups entertainment, rental items and assists with securing Certificates of Insurance for the entertainers. He receives and tracks all invoices and reviews the General Ledger to ensure its accuracy. At the end of each month Troy is instrumental in putting together information for the financial review meetings.  Troy is well respected by other departments and gets along well with other employees as well as our customers. Troy provides our groups with all signs requested, he prints them and mounts them on foam core then frames them and ensures that they are placed where the customer has requested them. Along with his daily duties Troy is always willing to jump in and help with anything unexpected that might come up. He is always calm and displays his wonderful smile. He is kind to everyone and is truly one of a kind. Congratulations Troy!


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