VisionPassionFaith

Our passion is branding with, and distribution of, quality niche products.

  • VisionPassionFaith

Updated: Jun 4

With Jessica O'doski, binka Founder/ CEO


My eighth interview in my "Wellness for Real" series, is with Jessica O'doski, Founder/ CEO of binka. I had such a great time interviewing someone who I not only work with, but also someone who is a true and amazing friend of mine. Very grateful! Hope you enjoy!


Me: So I usually start this series with this question, do you have your own definition of "wellness" that you can share?

Jessica: Wellness for me, is completely holistic, though I do think it is more mental and emotional.


My takeaway:

I totally agree with Jessica, in that the mental and emotional aspects of wellness are imperative, when speaking about "wellness" for real. The completely holistic approach is where it's at!

#mentalwellness

#emotionalwellness

#holisticwellness

#wellnessforreal


Me: So you and I have always had this "rare" synergy and flow in working together. Since day one, we have had this. Hard to explain, something that is energetic in nature. I think the best teams and partnerships are those where there is a flow and synergy, and then business just grows organically from this type of energy. Thoughts?

Jessica: I totally agree. Synergy is definitely an awareness, that something is just a "fit." The synergy and flow that exists is like any relationship- people either "mesh" or they do not. When we have this flow, we can then be more successful in sales together, since there is also the same type of work ethic, as well as same ideas about sales.


My takeaway:

Things are either a "fit" or not. Jess is right on when talking about any relationship. We know when things "mesh" and when they do not. In my opinion, we can "waste" a lot of time and energy in relationships, both personal and in business, where it is not an energetic fit. When there is a "fit" and synergy, energy seems to expand; and when there is not a flow and rhythm, energy seems to contract.

#thingsmesh

#peoplemesh

#energyofbusiness

#energyofrelationships


Me: You and I are similar in our "core" view of business. That it is more about "relationships" than "numbers." Yes, everyone needs to make money, but you and I value relationships and people. Why do you think this seems to be somewhat "rare" in business? Seems like we live in a "spreadsheet"/"analytical" type of culture, which seems more "automated/robot-like " as time goes on.

Jessica: Business is all about relationships. It is only an advantage when one genuinely likes and cares about people. When we relate to our clients, it is more personal, and we connect, establish, and grow our relationships. Definitely a different "approach" than those only focused on numbers.


My takeaway:

Business and life is all about relationships. I am so grateful that Jessica is someone who not only believes this, but also lives it. I have worked with people and companies, who unfortunately do not value people and relationships. Working with Jessica has been so refreshing to me, especially since we both view business and relationships with such heart and appreciation.

#businessisrelationships

#energyofbusiness

#heartbasedbusiness


Me: You and I both love picking up the phone and checking in with clients, following up, and also chatting with clients. Many of our clients have become our good friends. I read a lot online about cold calling, and that it is "dead." I do not agree with this, Thoughts on how and why you think this perspective may be "wrong?"

Jessica: The phone is a way to connect and establish rapport. Since we can not travel and see all our clients, (it is not really feasible since they are spread all over), the phone is a great way to connect. Clients appreciate a phone call and my clients are my friends. I personally built my business 95% with phone and email. Being a "road warrior" is not as feasible.


My takeaway:

Totally agree. It is not feasible to travel and see clients that are all over, and the phone is a terrific option. Most entrepreneurs are amazing at connecting with clients on the phone, and many still will say, that this is their best way to grow their business. To date, a large majority of my business is also phone, and email. Jessica and I are examples that cold calling, and calling clients on the phone is not only "not dead," but is a terrific way to genuinely connect with others and grow business relationships that ultimately can indeed evolve into strong business relationships as well as friendships.

#coldcallingnotdead


Me: Let's chat about entrepreneurship in general. I have been an entrepreneur since I was a young girl. These days it seems like everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, and most are "wanna be" entrepreneurs - they do not want to put in the hard work.You and I have an incredible work ethic, which I think is rare these days. There has been the question/ debate of innate versus learned? Can entrepreneurship be "taught" or is it something innate? I personally think it is "innate". There are so many that start businesses and think business is supposed to "come to them," and "money is supposed to just fly into their bank account." The entrepreneurial journey is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, and few are able to really understand and embrace this. Thoughts?

Jessica: I one hundred percent agree, and think entrepreneurship is something innate. There are inborn qualities, and certain personality traits that make up an entrepreneur. Others are better at a routine, at direction, as well as at some sort of "predictability"and "security."


My takeaway:

I totally agree, and think entrepreneurship is innate, and not something that can be taught/learned. It is not for everyone.

#entrepreneurialjourney


Me: This leads to the story of binka. The fabrics you use, and your designs are incredible. I wear your tanks and sheer hoodies all the time. What was your vision when you started your company?

Jessica: The idea popped into my head, and I ran with it. It grew in its own direction. When I started, it was just going to be retail for fitness, and e-commerce retail. I did not really know where I was going till 2009. I connected with women who belonged to local country clubs and gyms who suggested that I sell to clubs and spas. I started getting into some of the country clubs they belonged to as well as a local Marriott property and little by little it grew. I realized I could fit in the Resort world so I started to target large corporate resort brands such as Hyatt and Marriott. In 2018 one of my clients at Sundara Inn suggested that I consider expanding my offerings to custom/logo. From there my brand really took off.


My takeaway:

I think the best way to grow a business is organically. Being able to listen to clients, as well as suggestions within other market niches is instrumental in being able to grow. Being able to see opportunities and pivot is a wonderful quality most successful entrepreneurs have. Good for Jessica that she is not only an amazing listener, but she is also able to pivot when it makes sense.

#embracethepivot

#growingorganically


Me: I think it is really important for people to be buying USA made - now more than ever. Why do you think people are still buying products overseas in China? Do you think most still are only looking and dollars and cents? Lately, I have noticed though, more and more have been asking where products are made. Thoughts?

Jessica: Well I agree, and it is my personal view too. I feel strongly about USA products, as well as the need to support local/small businesses.


My takeaway:

I think more people now, more than ever, do want to support small business, and products made in the USA. This is a good thing!

#USAmade

#smallbusiness


Me: You and I both have been selling within the Resort/boutique hotel area 15 years or so. I love our industry and love the people in it. I am very grateful for the amazing clients I have gotten to know, especially on a personal level. I think the hospitality industry in general, attracts "people people" and "service oriented people." Aside from you and I working very hard, I think we both are also very grateful and appreciative. Whether a client orders two dozen of a product, twenty dozen, or one hundred dozen, we truly appreciate the business. What are your thoughts on gratitude, as well as staying positive and at times, having to deal with "negative" ?

Jessica: In terms of working hard, I do work my butt off. I also love the industry, as well as my clients, and appreciate all business. "Negative" can affect me personally, since I am invested in what I do, as well invested in my clients. We all have "bad" days, and different personalities. So I try not to take it to heart. I know that I deliver exceptional service, and I know that I care very much about people. and my brand, so, if I need to, I do try to "right" any "wrong" so everyone is happy.


My takeaway:

Working hard, loving what you do, and delivering exceptional service are all keys to any strong business. Gratitude as well. I am very grateful to be able to work with someone like Jessica - she is a gem!

#gratitude

#hardwork

#noshortcuts


Me: You and I are very heart centered. Those who are heart centered, versus "mind" focused/analytical, tend to live their lives, and operate their business in a different manner. Not one is "better" than the another - just different. I feel like the heart centered entrepreneurs and business owners are more "big picture"/creative types, and genuinely love and care for what they do, and who they do it with. It emanates from the heart. They tend to love what they do, or else they do not do it. Thoughts?

Jessica: Agree. I love what I do. My business is an extension of me, and I am passionate about it. I do not feel like it’s work and do not put an effort into "balance." I am just "doing me." I communicate with my clients even when I am on vacation. I’m always available but that’s not a matter of balance to me because I love what I do! I do not like schedules, and having an unscripted, casual approach to my work, works well for me. Authenticity and knowing oneself is key to having this kind of approach at “work."


My takeaway:

Love what Jessica shared, and could not agree more! I do not think living a balanced life is in "environments of the heart." When you love what you do, whether working or taking a break from work with things you love - love is at the center of it all. There is a flow to living in the moment, in the heart, and living authentically.

#justdoyou

#heartcenteredentrepreneur

#authenticity

#knowthyself


I want to thank Jessica so much for doing this interview with me. This is the last interview of this series, and I could not have thought of anyone better, who I would love to close this series out with, than Jessica!


For more info about Jessica and her amazing company binka, please check out: https://www.binkagirl.com/


Please use code BINKASPRING50 for "half off" thru the end of this month.

  • VisionPassionFaith

Updated: Jun 4

With Robert Holeman, GM/ Owner Sedona Real Inn & Suites

This interview is with one of the top leaders in the Hospitality Industry. During the past few weeks, I have gotten to know Robert, and how he has been navigating these times. He is a great example of a leader who genuinely cares about others, leads with his own heart, and then takes action. Though many in the Hospitality Industry are at home, some are still diligently working harder than ever, and learning more daily about how to navigate the times we are in. They are growing within themselves, and within their teams; and also developing tools and procedures to help make their own Hotel/Resort, the most "welcoming" place for guests to come for those ready for travel. It is wonderful to see a leader such as Robert, working so hard daily, taking steps to do his best for his guests, as well as his employees. Hope you enjoy!

Me: So I usually start off this series, with the question - what is your definition of "wellness?"

Robert: Well, there is indeed a broad aspect to wellness. I believe the first thing we need to look at is our own "mental" health. Without consciousness we can't get to physical health. For me, I am a "pile guy" - I have this pile for "this," and that pile for "that." When I can compartmentalize things, I learn to deal with things to get my own mental health positive. Not everyone thinks positive, so we are always bombarded with "negative interference."

We can't take care of our body, if we do not have the discipline to take care of our mental health. We can't take care of our spiritual health, if we do not have the discipline to take care of our mental health. Of course, there are many different variables, aspects, and levels of health.. One needs to look at and reflect upon where they are, at their own place in life. Looking at where we live, and our lifestyle; and expand on that. We can then create standards to focus on other aspects - i.e. eating well, exercising, etc... Thus, we can then sustain our life in a positive manner. We must create a foundation before we can do this.

Unfortunately, most want to skip the "homework" and go right to the "yoga" and "nutrition" parts and focus only on these. These indeed can be aspects of "wellness;" but dealing with one's own personal life, is key. The personal journey starts at home, and we can then delve and expand from there. Many people look at their own life, and want a better life, but do not want to do the work.

If one can not take responsibility for their own life, no one else will. Many times, people suffer when they think they know more than they do. It is important, especially in our business, to find people who are "successful" even if not in the "hospitality" industry. There are techniques we can learn and take and apply to our own business.

My takeaway:

I totally agree with Robert. Most want to have a better life, but do not want to do the "work." I find that those who embrace the journey and find joy in the "home work" and enjoy the "process" - are happier, and healthier in general. They do not "sugar coat" life, and only look a what is positive and the "la la land" parts. They embrace the reality of life, as well as their environments - both immediate and also far (within the context of the whole); and are able to pivot and navigate better when they are faced with "challenging" circumstances.

Very few want to talk about "mental" health - but the mental aspect of wellness holds many of the keys to overall wellness. Also, keys to our wellness as a society in general. People who just want to live in their own "bubble" of reality, and focus only on meditation, yoga, and what they are eating, are "missing the boat" - as to what may really be going on in their own life, in society, and in the world. The media always has us "looking over there" - so very few are really looking at the truth. I think this is how people look at their "own" lives. They are "looking over there" and not really looking at their own truth. This is why I believe it is important for us to share ideas, and perspectives with those who are looking honestly and reflecting deeply within themselves as to how best to navigate life in general. I speak a lot about "seeking wise counsel" - we do not want to seek counsel from those who are not looking for truth, and are not willing to do their own work.

#doyourownhomework

#mentalhealth

#negativeinterference

Me: Why do you think most do not want to "do their own homework"?

Robert: In my opinion, most who want a better life do not want to put in the work, and this is most of the mentality here in the US. Everyone here "gets a trophy" and this mentality is part of the problem. We don' t always get a trophy. When people don't face the struggles of life, instead of only one issue to deal with, they end up with fifteen or so, and have to try to correct them all at once. Our society's issues, compound our mental issues.

My takeaway:

I agree with Robert! Those who do not face the struggles of life head on, have a harder time when faced with "challenges." These times we are in, are quite interesting, to see how others' are navigating- both personally and professionally.

I have been working in the Hospitality Industry for over 15 years, and from my perspective, the Hotels/ Resorts who are working through this, and learning how best to "navigate" these times, are going to have a "practical head start", when everything opens up. We learn by doing. The school of hard knocks is usually the best school.

#schoolofhardknocks

#learnbydoing

Me: So I love your term- "negative interference". We are indeed bombarded by "negative interference" all day long/ every day. If one does not realize this, they are living in a bubble and not really doing things. Anything that involves fully living, working, and dealing with other people, deals with this "negative interference". So, how do you deal with "negative inference"?

Robert: Well, in our society, we are not taught how to deal with it. "Men don't cry", "sheep are sheep", etc.... . in today's society, in my opinion, there is much division. And this has been going on at least twenty years or so. Those who "have" and those who "have not." Now it has become "those who think one way" , and " those who think another way". There is an inability to listen to another's personal opinions, and expressions in general. This is negativity.

Look at the "Covid issue" - every day things are changing . Tomorrow there will be another study. Some say that this virus dies in sunlight at 80 degrees. Many are not talking about that. As we are all receiving information, as time goes on, it also gets "twisted". This is what I call "negative interference". Whether we are talking about business practices, the Bible, Covid, etc.... One needs to learn to take at look at the whole picture, and discern what is best for that individual.

My takeaway:

I agree with Robert on all this. "Negative interference" is indeed something we all should be addressing. I have done a lot of things in my life. I have real life experience, and have gone to the school of hard knocks. When I share some of my perspectives from my own experiences, many do not want to listen. They shut it down, since they already know everything about the media, government, religions, business, etc.. This seems to continue on. (I have worked in media for some of the top media outlets, I have bootstrapped businesses from the ground up, I have studied almost every religion, and am well read in many philosophies, I went to law school, and have been in courtrooms with the "finest" attorneys, I have corresponded with top politicians and government agencies- real life experiences ).

This "negative interference" is very sad to me, but I do accept it. Only those who are open to listening to other's perspectives, and are not "threatened" by another's opinions, beliefs, perspectives can learn anything. In my opinion, the one who is truly "well" is the one who can listen to all perspectives, do their own research, listen to others' experiences from real life (not just read self help books and/ or text books)- and then sift all this through their own consciousness, as to what resonates for them.

A true leader like Robert, is learning daily, and doing; they are listening and learning from "wise counsel". Others are merely staying 'stuck" in their own perspectives, and merely talking about things- their life is an accumulation of "talking points." One of the most unfortunate things in our society (as it has been this way for a long long time) - very few independent thinkers. Most live in a "herd" reality. One of the many reasons, that this interview is a treat for me is that Robert is indeed an independent thinker, and a doer, and this is one of the best characteristics of a true leader.

#trueleadership

#independentthinker

#sharingperspectives

#negativeinterference

Robert: So, let's take global warming as an example. I personally don't believe in global warming. As a society, we are getting conditioned to live in fear. The more fear that can be instilled, the more people can be controlled. Without my ability to talk with friends, and share my experiences, and put together perspectives i can not get rid of the "negativity".

Things resonate for you or for me . We are poisoning our heath and ourselves, by only looking at "sparkly" and not data.

My takeaway:

Agree with Robert on all points. Can't just look at 'sparkly". Our society in general is mesmorized by the "shiny" things.

#reality

#schoolofhardknocks

Me: So you have been GM for 24 years? And you and I have discussed the perspectives of navigating these times. In my opinion, some of the smaller type chains, as well as boutique hotels, such as yours, that have been "open" and navigating these times, may have an advantage over some of the larger chains that have been closed. What have you learned most during this time?

Robert: These times are bringing people closer together or farther apart. When people are in fear, they are not as honest, and don't say what is on their mind. Thus, less ability to talk about what is really going on in their lives.


Many of our guests that are coming are just wanting to get away.. They don't want to sit at home. They are not fearful. And they respect what we are doing... as a team, we are "navigating" this new world.

I wish that we had a bit more leniency. When we change operating systems, and are changing as we go , there are a lot of things that we can't anticipate. We are continuously updating and changing procedures. For example - our pools opened yesterday, and we have sanitizers by the pool. Most believe that sunlight kills germs and chlorine kills germs. We are sanitizing the pool areas, Going through these changes and procedures can be tiresome, and very cumbersome.

In our society. many "operators" are waiting for answers. Others are needing to figure things out, each independent property, one at a time. Also, getting employees back to work, can be an issue for some of the larger chains. Some want to stay at home, since many are making more money. These people

are " living in today", and not looking farther ahead..

This goes back to the original question on "wellness" - to be well, we need to accept change and maneuver through it. If we only live for today, then when we have to change, it is very painful, but when we are open to it, in bits and pieces. It is easier.

My takeaway:

Very deep insights! From my perspective, I think that the smaller chains and boutique hotels will have a distinct advantage moving forward. There is something to be said about real life experience, and learning as you go. Those who have been working and navigating daily. and talking with others who are doing the same, are developing not only a better "tool kit" as to how to navigate these times, but are also developing some core strengths in many qualities relating to character. Resilience, determination, inner strength, compassion, understanding, empathy, and problem solving are qualities of any leader, and these qualities are amplified during times such as these. Being flexible, and being able to pivot, while keeping focused on the larger picture and goals, takes much presence as well as consciousness. Robert's ability to be resilient, determined, compassionate, along with his inner strength and fluidity in navigating these times is quite impressive!

#embracechange

#navigatingnewworld

Me: How do you think this will affect travel and hospitality in months to come? Do you think there will now be a "new normal"?

Robert: Aside from what I mentioned before regarding the pool area, we have now also incorporated many other procedures. For example, one of these protocols, is that we don't go into rooms for forty eight hours after guests check out. Our housekeeping does not go into the room for forty eight hours, and they are now disinfecting two to three times- door knobs, remotes, handles on the faucets. draw pulls. etc.. and then they do it again - three times. As you also already know, we are building stands for all the hand sanitizers, that we will have in all common areas.

In terms of the future. I am not sure anyone has an idea about the future. This is the reality. I need to stay positive, and keep doing my best, and continue moving forward. This is what positivity is about. To be positive is to live and accept what is, and what we have before us.... not live under a rock. There are many challenges right now in operating a business, and we need to hold on, maneuver, and be positive. If people are "waiting" around for others to "bail" them out, they will be" like toast," and a lot of people are unfortunately, sitting under a rock.

My takeaway:

With people wanting to start traveling, it is good to know that there are places to go like Sedona Real Inn & Suites, where the leadership is so strong. Having "new" procedures in place, and working hard daily to ensure the procedures are "current" in these times, is imperative. Robert is a leader who truly cares about people. Aside from all of his new protocols, he has also made it a point to help others through these times, and he is supporting small businesses that are making products here in the USA. As an example- the face masks, as well as hand sanitizers he buys are USA made; while many of the larger brands are still buying products overseas, so they can save a few cents.

I agree with what Robert says about the future. Anyone who says they know for sure, the future of the Hospitality Industry/Travel Industry, I think they are mistaken. The ones who are embracing the unknown, and doing the best they can daily, are the ones who are being "positive" with their days. Acceptance of what is, and what is before us, as Robert says, is key!

Being flexible, open to learn, and pivoting; taking action - these are what leaders are doing, instead of "sitting under a rock."

#bepositive

#acceptance

Me: Obviously, you are very grounded. So do you have any daily practices to help you stay so grounded?

Robert: Meditation is a very important aspect in my life. We all meditate differently. I believe that the purest meditation is Buddhist. For me, exercise and mountain biking- being in the sunlight, sweating, and getting my heart pumping. I ride the same trails, and know the areas for recovery and relaxing. When I get my "epiphany" they are usually while mountain biking, and also in the shower. I am able to get epiphanies, maybe for two/three things that I am thinking about at other times during the day/week.

So, my exercising and being outdoors, having a healthy home life that I have with my wife, and living with a "structure of the day." I can eat the same lunch, and same dinner daily, and I am ok with that. When I am "unstructured," I am not as happy. I start with the mental/structure, then exercise, and as a result can find positive for the day. I like to have little signs that I am producing something with my set of goals; that I am attaining; and continual forward momentum.

So, for example. my goals - in business, I may be excited to have 20 reservations a day for the next couple weeks, and/or more reservations than cancellations. Then, when I get to 25-30 reservations and reduce cancellations to 1 to 4. I adjust my goals daily for positive outcomes. It is important to not sit around and wait for people to do it for you.

My first goal is to keep my ultimate goals in mind, and move forward bit by bit; little bites at a time.

My takeaway:

Moving forward, step by step; acceptance; having some structured goals; being able to pivot. Also exercising, having time outdoors, and looking at one's foundation, I believe are all imperative in these times, especially.

I want to thank Robert so much for this interview, as well as being such an example of a true leader. We do not have many "true leaders" who are leading daily as Robert is.

For anyone who is fortunate enough to visit his location in Sedona, they will experience the true hospitality of a lovely boutique hotel.

#sedonarealinn&suites

#sedona

#trueleadership

#truehospitality

#structure

For more information on Sedona Real Inn & Suites in Sedona, Arizona, 95 Arroyo Pinon Dr, Sedona, AZ 86336; Phone: 928-282-1414

Please visit: https://www.sedonareal.com

  • VisionPassionFaith

With Kathy Anton Galietti, Director of Hospitality at Coeur d' Alene Casino Resort and Hotel

My sixth interview in my "Wellness for Real" series, is with Kathy Anton Galietti, Director of Hospitality at Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort and Hotel. It was such a joy to share ideas, perspectives, as well as practical tools we can implement into our lives, as we embrace "wellness for real." Hope you enjoy!

Me: Do you have your own definition of "wellness" that you can share?

Kathy: What a perfect opening question. I live my life, and look at my life as a series of decisions. Whatever I am presented with, I have one of two choices. There is no dancing in the middle. My priorities are very defined and with my faith, I hold family first, my productivity at home and work, then growth in my career. After I left Marriott in 2008, I redefined myself. I realigned my life and priorities. All I do focuses on my family’s security and well-being and my career compliments this. Most of my decisions are based upon my priorities, and my decisions are based upon being responsible and decisive. Being decisive, is what "wellness" is. I believe the key component to wellness is realizing that at every turn in life, there is a choice. We can learn from "wrong " choices and accumulate our best choices for us. This is growth and this ultimately makes for the best choices for the people around us, and in front of us. As far as physical wellness, I have exercised since high school, and am always aware of what I eat and when I eat.

My takeaway:

So profound. Choices. We all have choices. This is a wonderful perspective, and not one we hear of too often, when speaking on the topic of wellness- thanks Kathy!

#wellnessforreal #choices

Me: So tell me a bit about the experience of leaving your "big" job and position at Marriott. That seems like it was quite a "defining" moment for you.

Kathy: Well, back in October of 2008, I experienced a huge job loss, and as I look back, it was "tragic" for me. I made a lot of money so I had to "readjust" on many levels after I was laid off. At that time, I was the breadwinner and I had two little boys. Looking back, Mondays were indeed the hardest, given I had nowhere to be so I doubted my value. I was with this organization for 15 years and worked at least 60 hours a week. I loved my job and I was good at it. As I look back now at my career and where I spent my time, I did miss a lot of experiences with my youngest son. My husband worked from home so he was with the kids more than I was. I did a lot of busy work to try to wrap my head around my situation. I sure did a lot of crossword puzzles during this time. It was indeed a struggle, but I was sure with 100% conviction, that I would come out of it well.

My takeaway:

From my own experience, it seems like those "forced" forks in the road, can somehow provide us with a "pivot" in our perspectives, thoughts, actions, and future decisions, that may lead to a "better" overall life. Tough to have this perspective while going through the "muck" of life, but there is indeed something positive awaiting, as we navigate, and move through to the other side of it. Kathy is one strong and amazing woman!

#innerstrength

#resilience #faith

Me: So it is clear to me, that you love working at the Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel. How did this come about?

Kathy: During this time of "transition" one of my best friend's (from Spokane) father had passed. My high school friends went to the funeral, and after the service went out and through that interaction, I was contacted to see if I was interested in relocating back to Washington State and apply for the role of Hospitality Director. I did and was offered my position in May 2012. Prior to this, I was doing some consulting for Hilton Grand Vacations where I was given the opportunity to work with eight of their key properties. The experience was awesome and through that journey, I learned so much.

My takeaway:

Good for Kathy! So thrilled she landed in a place where she is fully happy and fulfilled. We all deserve to be happy , fulfilled, and inspired. I am also thrilled that she works with such amazing people at Coeur d'Alene.

#workplacewellness

Me: So I know that you now work at an amazing place, with terrific people. How have these past few weeks been for you, through this 'closure" due to Corona Virus?

Kathy: What has been so inspiring is given we are owned and managed by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and during the closure, the Tribe paid all of the employees the entire time we were closed along with our medical benefits. We closed on March 20th at noon, five days before the Idaho Governor’s order to Stay Home. They kept us “whole” for over 5 weeks. The Casino is the economical driving force for the Tribe so the money the Casino earns, fuels the Tribe’s social service programs, veterans programs, early learning programs – essentially the tribe’s overall sustainability. We’re valuable to this region in the form of jobs, charitable donations, and we’ve donated over 33 million towards education.

My takeaway:

I could tell the leadership at Coeur d'Alene is spectacular. From my own experience, and listening to others' stories/experiences, while observing other companies and corporate cultures , it is clear that the "health" of any organization always trickles down. If the people in leadership are "healthy" in their perspectives, and how they treat those who work for them, then their employees will all be happier, and in turn, healthier overall. The ability to thrive at work, seems to correlate with how well workers are treated in their own workplace environment. Conversely, if the people in leadership are "unhealthy" in their perspectives, and how they treat those who work for them, then their employees will be frustrated, unhappy, and not thrive, for the most part.

#workplacewellness

#healthy leadership

Me: With so many in the Spa/ Hospitality industry now at home, what types of things are you implementing into your hourly/daily/weekly routine, if anything? What do your "typical" days/weeks look like?

Kathy: Every Tuesday our executive team meets with consideration to social distancing and we talk. I do have the opportunity to go into work a couple times a week. It was nice to get caught up and nice to plan for a new normal when we open back up. For any of us that went to the workplace during the closure and worked, the employee was compensated additionally for helping during the closure. With more time at home, I am cleaning and nesting. I cleaned out my china cabinet and it just sparkles! My youngest had just went off to college and most recently had to move out of his dorm because of the COVID-19 virus so he moved back home. My oldest works at Albertsons, spending up to 60 hours per week working to keep the shelves stocked. I believe our grocery workers are all hero’s. He is a senior at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington and intends to go to law school or into medicine. My husband is working out of our house so we are enjoying a lot of family time. Prior to the pandemic, I was enjoying my Barre exercise class at 6 am, 4 times a week but now I am doing some virtually online which is really hard to stay motivated but twice a week is better than none. I have to say, I really am enjoying this time at home to spend with family; puttering and nesting; and cleaning and organizing.

My takeaway:

It is quite wonderful that as Kathy still goes in to work some days each week, she is still also embracing her extra time at home. It is my opinion, that those who enjoy their life outside of work, and have hobbies and things that bring them joy, are overall "healthier" individuals.

#balance

#priorities

#findyourjoy

Me: So I notice from all your emails to me, (not just some, but all) , your kindness and hospitality come through your words. There is an elegant, genuine, and sweet energy behind your words, which someone like myself can feel. Whether you buy a product from me or not, you are so professional and sincere in your communications, it is clear to me that you are always present with what you are doing. Even during this interview, I can tell you are very present. In times when most are "multi-tasking" and not being truly present with what they are doing in the "now" – how do you stay present?

Kathy: I am always engaged in what I am doing or I couldn’t do it well. I stay present because I choose to be present. My priority is always the person in front of me, whether on the phone, with me physically, or as you referenced, by way of email correspondence. I know that someone would not "come" to me, if they did not "need" me, and I know that people need to be heard and feel valued. I choose to be responsive and I put myself in check if I am ever in a "bad" mood. So my ability to be present, just boils down to choice. My choices that I make are centered and conscious. I am very thoughtful, and know that there is good in everything and good in everybody – I choose to believe that.

My takeaway:

Kathy's keen ability to make choices from a very centered and conscious place is inspiring. Being able to truly be and stay present with another, is a "gift", and very few, in my option, are able to live moment to moment like this. Words are powerful, and even more powerful is the energy behind the words. We are living in a 24/7 "communication" society where many rely on email and text. In a time where most seem to be "short,” "abrupt,” somewhat "rude,” or even "robotic" in their communication "styles" in emailing and texting, it is quite refreshing to communicate with those like Kathy who are conscious of the words and energy that they are putting out to another human being.

#choices

#presence

#consciouscommunication #energy

Me: So let's talk about all your amazing experiences. I believe that we all bring our own life experience, as well as energy, perspectives, and consciousness to all we do. You have a BS is Sociology, with an emphasis on criminal justice. I have a BA in social psychology and attended law school for a year, where I attained law review status. How do you think you bring some of this experience to all you do at the Resort/Casino, and in addition, how do you think we can all contribute more of who we are, as whole and integrated human beings, into all we do?

Kathy: With my education, I intended to work with juvenile delinquents. In my Spring quarter I had to go to a group home which was a place where kids go before they are reintroduced back into society after a situation with the law. I had experienced what it was like to be with these kids and it was very tough on me emotionally. I was crying to my dad about some of this, and I remember him saying to me that I really can't do this kind of work, saying "you are not made for this". Years later when my husband took a job in Hawaii, I learned about hospitality. When we were living on Maui, I worked four years as the executive assistant to the GM where I learned so much about Hospitality leadership. When we moved off the island, and back to California, I started with Marriott where I learned so much through their training initiatives. I still use my strengths and still impact people in a positive way. I believe in the vital importance of human capital. In my position, I work late and my door is never shut- it is always open. As a leader I am available to those that depend on me physically and mentally. The human capital is key to any successful business. I believe when we take care of the employees, they take care of the business. Through this pandemic, the Tribe is the epidomy of this mantra given the care they have shown to close to 1000 employees during this closure. I am so honored to work for the Coeur d’ Alene Tribe.

My takeaway:

I have noticed through most of my life experiences, that those who have gone to school and have a degree in sociology or social psychology have a unique interest not only in people but also in culture. Kathy continues to use her talents, gifts, and leadership to impact and inspire others. It really does not matter the form or "title" of what we do, as it is really the "content" and "thread" that holds it all together.

#contentoverform

#corporateculture

#leadership

#human capital

I want to thank Kathy so much for this interview, and her time- it was truly a joy!

To learn more about Coeur d’Alene Casio Resort and Hotel in Worley, Idaho, please check out: https://www.cdacasino.com/hotel/

Be sure to also check out their Spa- Spa Ssakwa'q'n at https://www.cdacasino.com/spa/

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