The Art of Leadership at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC for the 58th Presidential Inauguration

Published on : Wednesday, January 18, 2017

cq5dam.web.press.400.keepaspectratioOrchestrating Inauguration week at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC is no small feat, involving 26 departments, 460 employees (with 3,800 years of combined service experience), 150 luxury car services, and 5,733 food and beverage patrons.  Four Seasons Hotel Washington, the first Four Seasons property to open in the United States, has raised the expectation and delivery of service into a legendary art form during its 37 years of operation, and has maintained a 2:1 staff-to-guest ratio throughout. Every day, each masterfully organised department and its talented staff dutifully and meticulously cater to their responsibilities to ensure that every guest receives the singular experience for which the Hotel is known.  Inauguration week at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC multiplies these responsibilities and requires supreme organisation and leadership to uphold Four Seasons extraordinary standards of service.

 

For the swearing in of President-Elect Donald J. Trump, the Hotel is sold out with a four-night minimum stay for rooms ranging in price from USD 1,925 to USD 20,000 per night. Attending guests will undoubtedly expect nothing less than perfection during their stay in the nation’s capital.  Luckily, the Hotel’s staff is led by four of the most skilled professionals in the hospitality industry. With a combined 20 Inauguration weeks under their belts, Chef Concierge Julie Saunders, Executive Chef Douglas Anderson, Hotel Manager Kelley Moreton and Hotel General Manager David Bernand are the best of the best and their skills will be evident during this historic period.

 

Chef Concierge Julie Saunders

 

From last minute ball gown alterations to arranging transportation to and from the season’s most glamorous events, Chef Concierge Julie Saunders holds the key to the needs of every guest attending the Inaugural festivities. In fact, it could be said that Saunders holds the keys to the entire city. She has been a member of the prestigious Les Clefs d’Or since 1989, has served as a Member of the Board of Les Clefs d’Or Foundation for ten years and has been the Foundation Chairperson for three years. Her 33 years of experience and five Inauguration weeks at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC have made Saunders one of the most qualified concierge professionals in the city. Her team of six have over a century of combined service experience between them (102 years to be exact) and 10 Inaugurations since the Hotel’s opening. Together they have overseen and assisted in everything from receiving advance shipments of Inauguration week wardrobes to tracking down Inaugural Ball tickets for guests that accidentally left their exclusive invites at home.

 

“You never know what a guest may need during Inauguration Week,” says Saunders. “It goes far beyond making a restaurant recommendation or reservation. Although, reservations at DC’s most popular restaurants are difficult to come by this time of year! It’s more about meeting the needs of a guest, no matter the circumstance. We live by the mantra that nothing is impossible, some things just take a little more time.”

 

Executive Chef Douglas Anderson

 

While Saunders handles the needs of Hotel guests, Executive Chef Douglas Anderson takes care of their culinary desires and requests. Anderson oversees the food and beverage menu creation, preparation and execution for all of the Hotel’s food outlets: BOURBON STEAK, Seasons Restaurant, ENO Wine Bar, in-room dining and catered events. With 30 years of experience with Four Seasons, Chef Anderson is a steadfast and unwavering leader in one of the most fast-paced departments.

 

“There is always something going on in all of our restaurants. Whether it’s a special event such as Inauguration or just our weekly Sunday brunch, there is no room for error in preparation or execution,” says Anderson. “However, it is important that my culinary team and I take the time to exercise the creative freedom that Four Seasons encourages. Organisation is the key to making all of this happen, especially in times of high volume such as this historic occasion.”

 

This passionate diligence has carried over into every one of Anderson’s seven Inaugural events that he has overseen.  Anderson directs everything from continental breakfast to menus for some of the most lavish suite after-parties and catered events in the city. During 2013’s Inauguration festivities, Anderson and his team prepared 200 “Night Owl” room service meals on Inauguration night alone. Members of the culinary team are on-site 24 hours a day, with many venturing into the city at 1:00 am on Inauguration Day to beat the closure of the city’s bridges.

 

This proactive approach allows Anderson and the staff to prepare for nearly 6,000 food and beverage patrons expected at the Hotel during this year’s Presidential Inauguration. His foresight and organisation ensures that every request is fulfilled in an artful, effortless and flawless manner.

 

Hotel Manager Kelley Moreton

 

The latest addition to the array of powerful leaders at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC is Hotel Manager Kelley Moreton. While the 58th Inauguration will be her first in the nation’s capital, Moreton’s resume is packed with experiences from around the world. A 27-year industry veteran, she began her work in the hospitality industry at the age of 16 and worked her way from corporate hotel trainee to her current position. Prior to joining the Washington hotel in 2015 she worked at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, acquiring a wealth of experience in exceeding guests’ high expectations. However, even more valuable than this skill is Moreton’s expertise in many departments, from the guest rooms to events and reservations, that she gained while working her way to the top.  Moreton’s role during Inauguration week ncludes everything from crisis management to offering hands-on assistance in every department when a “crunch” is called: an especially busy or urgent situation in the Hotel requiring additional support.

 

“Every guest is a VIP at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC,” says Moreton. “Nothing less than personalised perfection is acceptable and we will make sure that each guest receives Four Seasons level of service during their four night stay.”

 

General Manager David Bernand

 

Finally, the Hotel’s own Commander-in-Chief David Bernand has been with Four Seasons for 17 years and this upcoming Inauguration week will be his third. In 2009, he lived and worked in Washington during President Barack Obama’s first Inauguration: one of the capital’s most highly attended and talked about in history. Not only was the Hotel at full capacity, but Obama’s first Inauguration marked a change of administration in the Executive Branch after two terms, much like the upcoming ceremony on January 20, 2017.

 

With change comes excitement and often tension. However, Bernand started planning and preparing his team well in advance for the undoubtedly historic event. As General Manager, he began preparations for 2017’s Inaugural week over a year in advance to ensure the Hotel’s 10th Presidential Inauguration is as successful and seamless as those in the past.

 

“Inauguration is DC’s Super Bowl, and my duty is making sure that my staff and their leaders have all the information and resources that they need to succeed,” says Bernand. “This means that we will over prepare to anticipate any circumstance or situation that may arise”.

 

Saunders, Anderson, Moreton and Bernand are fearless leaders with more than 85 years of experience among them. They oversee what is referred to as the most talented and dedicated hospitality team at the only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond hotel in Washington, DC. The exceptional staff coupled with the Hotel’s most recent USD 13 million renovation make it the place to see and be seen in the nation’s capital during the Inauguration of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

 

Inauguration Week by the Numbers

 

 

 

Source:- Four Seasons Hotel & Resort

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