Current location: New York, New York
City you were born in or raised: New York, New York
What do you do for a living? General Manager for The Pod 39 Hotel in Murray Hill. I oversee daily operations of the 366-room hotel. I ensure there is organization to the madness.
Social Media Handles: @jusglaze
Tell us more about how and why you got into the hospitality industry as well as other experience you’ve had that has led you to your current position: I was contacted by a friend who informed me of a new hotel opening in Chelsea. Despite having no experience, I went into the interview hoping (naively) for an executive assistant position. Instead, I walked out with a front desk job at the soon-to-open Dream Downtown Hotel. 5 ½ years and 3 hotels later, I find myself as GM of The Pod. Prior to hotels, I spent a year or so in the restaurant business in various capacities.
What about the hospitality industry draws you to it? There is something very gratifying about taking care of people; hospitality allows us to create deeply personal connections with our clients. This, I believe, is part of what makes the business so special.
What are some of the difficulties in working in your industry? Meeting—then exceeding—the expectations of all guests; what might one guest finds superb, another may find underwhelming. The ability to meet every guests’ needs is what defines the great hotels.
What did you want to be growing up? As a kid, I wanted to be a firefighter. My mother even bought me a toddler sized replica of a New York Fire Department coat which I would wear everywhere.
Can you share one piece of advice to someone who wants to get into the hospitality industry? Don’t be dismayed by the initial road bumps; the journey is well worth the ride.
What was the turning point for you that made you realize you wanted to work in hotels? Was there a specific hotel you stayed in? Years ago, my family stayed in a hotel called the Casa Santo Domingo which is housed in a 16th century monastery in Antigua, Guatemala. I was still too young to truly appreciate the historic provenance, but I left with an understanding of how incredible the boutique hotel experience can be.
Name three of your favorite hotels across the world and tell us why: El Fenn in Marrakech, Morocco: the rooms are beautifully decorated and the service is on point without a sense of obsequiousness.
Ocean View Club in Harbour Island, Bahamas: walking in to the Ocean View Club feels more like walking into a chic Caribbean home than it does a hotel. The rooms and common spaces are tastefully decorated, the food is delicious, and the property is perched along the nicest beach in the world. Simply perfection!
Anything the Aman resorts group is doing.
When you’re traveling and looking at hotel options for your own trip, what are the qualities or amenities you look for? Location of the hotel, size of property and a unique approach to design and interior decoration.
We’re checking into a hotel and looking for an upgrade, any tips or tricks? Offer to write a positive review of the hotel online.
As a lifelong New Yorker, tell our readers who are visiting New York a few can’t-miss spots when they come to town: Here’s a short list:
Any advice for somebody visiting New York for the first time? Avoid Times Square!