Initiative among employees is encouraged at True Key Hotels & Resorts
Michael Anderson, president of True Key Hotels & Resorts based in Radium Hot Springs, B.C., said one of the things that drives him is the opportunity to bring a staff member up through the organization to a higher level of responsibility and put them on a stronger career path.
“Our company has very strong loyalty among team members,” Anderson said, “and we encourage advancement for those who want it. Occasionally our employees are scooped from us by large national companies, and though it hurts, it’s proof that they’ve grown through their experience with us and become assets in the bigger world.”
Working through the ranks
Anderson himself started in the hospitality industry at the age of 14, as a busboy. He’s been a dishwasher, a doorman and a bartender, and eventually did a management hitch at a total of 25 nightclubs in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Many of those clubs were operated by the same company, and Anderson improved the revenue, efficiency and profitability in each of them. The lifestyle was amazing, he said, but it took its toll because of the late-night hours, so he turned to the accommodation aspect of hospitality.
Anderson has seen some changes in the industry over the past 15 years, including a shift among developers from building and owning traditional hotels to developing condo-style hotels and selling the individual accommodation units to either one or several owners.
True Key Hotels & Resorts, a resort management company, was launched in June 2010, and Anderson has led the company since the beginning.
Playing to his strengths
Anderson’s strength is in looking at a legally or financially complex or troublesome situation and developing models that are easier for people to understand and manage, and then administering them. He said there’s a lot of opportunity for a company like his to correct situations and then develop strategies for success—to right the ship, so to speak.
Generating rental revenue for resort vacation home owners to exceed expectation in the current economy is his greatest business challenge, but he believes that his company has a competitive advantage and it delivers industry-leading rental revenues to the owners it serves.
“I have a team of administrative and management people who really go to extreme lengths to understand the legal structure that exists, and create revenue streams within those models for the owner groups,” said Anderson.
A guiding philosophy
Anderson has a personal mission that he shared with us: "To live for today, plan for tomorrow, be considerate of others, forgive shortcomings (even my own) and make no assumptions. To give enough of my attention to make a real difference in my community and keep enough of my time to make a real difference for those around me. Balance is everything."