As we begin blogging here at PHD Hospitality, we thought the best place to start was at the beginning - with its founder, Dawn Berry. As a twenty-five year veteran of the hospitality industry, Berry spent the majority of her career climbing the ranks within Hilton Hotels Corporation. Most recognized for her leadership roles at some of their largest downtown city-center convention hotels as well as Full Service Golf Resorts.
In 1998, Hilton Hotels began their launch of what would become the 11-time JD Power Award winning stretch to date – the Hilton Garden Inn brand. As the Vice President - Brand Management for Hilton Garden Inn, in just six years she facilitated the opening of over 320 of their 600 domestic hotels that are open to date. During her tenure, the brand received the first five JD Power and Associates awards in the North American Guest Satisfaction Index Study among other Industry recognition for their entrepreneurial efforts. I sat down with Dawn to learn more about her and to perhaps ask some questions she hasn’t heard.
KM: What inspires you?
DB: I’m inspired seeing people reach their full potential. When we manage a property we take on those individuals as a part of our PHD team. Yes, they may work at a Hilton, Holiday Inn, Comfort Suites or other brand, but as a member of the PHD team I encourage them to become the very best at what they do or what want to do in the future. Although I am a very competitive person, it’s not always about competition or the “win”. It’s about being a part of team that is focused on delivering the absolute best and their best includes being in service to others.
DB: I saw an opportunity to bring my 17 years of knowledge and experience together to create an outstanding organization that focuses on all areas of hotel management: Hotel Development, Property, Revenue and Risk Management, Human Resources, Interior Design and Hotel Procurement. I wanted to create a company and culture that is not just about the real estate but about a
service that expresses a sincere desire to serve.
DM: I want PHD to be recognized as a leader in the hospitality industry, not just for the number of properties we manage, but for the number of people that we left touched, moved and inspired by their experience with our hotels and our teams. We’re not in the business of hotels; we’re in the business of hospitality.
Dawn is committed to infusing life balance, family, hard work and integrity in her personal relationships as well as the workplace throughout the company. Her natural ability to establish teams by identifying and building upon individual talents has been a trademark of her character and leadership from the start. When Berry is not in the office, you are likely to find her either out on the golf course, leading and spending time at various charitable events that touch, move and inspire her, assisting or training at Landmark Worldwide and playing host to family and friends in the comfort of her own backyard.