Growing Where You Are Planted

Posted: Thursday, September 4th 2014 at 4:14 AM

An Evening with the Marriott Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel Executive Team

“Grow where you’re planted. Don’t be focused on the next job. If you are spending any time in the current job focused on the next job, that’s energy you’re not spending on the current job. Be the best at what you do and that next job will come.”

–Paige Lund, General Manager
Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel

“Grow where you are planted,” said Paige Lund (’93). “You GET to go to college. Capitalize every minute that you are here.” This is sage advice indeed. Lund, former executive director of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (SHRM) National Advisory Board, is the general manager of the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

On August 21, 2014, as one more way of giving back, she brought her executive team to meet students and parents for an evening Pathways* event. Just prior to the semester’s start, the room was packed around the fireplace and the audience was totally engaged.

Joining Paige were:

Anna Smith, Director of Human Resources
Jon Erickson, Director of Sales and Marketing
Bob Blanco, Director of Engineering
Jacob Smith, Director of Operations, Rooms
Brett Edwards, Director of Finance and Accounting

Each member gave a brief introduction, sharing their stories of the paths that brought them to this Marriott property. Each person’s background had twists and turns and no regrets in an industry in which they consider it a privilege to “get to serve people” every day, hospitality.

Every participant in the room listened intently as these seasoned executives shared their advice. To follow are excerpts from the guidance they offered.


Sage Advice

  • “We are most grateful for the time and energy and more importantly for your candor. Not every opportunity presents itself for a one-on-one with the executive committee of one of the top hotels in Phoenix,” concluded Wanda Costen, SHRM executive director, as the team mingled through the crowd of students, eager to answer questions from this upcoming cohort of hospitality professionals.


    * The SHRM Pathways to Professional Leadership (aka Pathways) are seminars, discussions, and events designed to help our students build skills pertaining to academic success, development both professionally and personally, and to equip them with knowledge that will aid them in applying for and attaining management positions and/or internship placement. Find out more HERE.


Categories: renaissance phoenix downtown hotel paige lund jon erickson bob blanco jacob smith brett edwards students fall 2014 2014 pathways anna smith wanda costen alumni