Rick is a seasoned sales and marketing professional, with significant senior management experience in the cable, advertising and newspaper businesses.
He began his sales career in the Life Insurance industry. A client, who became his mentor, introduced him to advertising sales and once he started there he never looked back. After rising to the position of General Manager of Sales for a local weekly publication, he admits that the entrepreneurial bug bit him and he eventually ended up buying into a small advertising agency. He sold his agency business after 12 years and joined the sales and marketing team for a local cable company where he was VP Sales for the next 8 years. Rick eventually found his way back to the publishing business where he was VP Sales for two large daily newspapers in Saskatchewan. In between, he managed to squeeze in three years as the Executive Director of the Regina Chamber of Commerce.
Rick’s been happily married to his wife, Sherry, for 37 years and has two great kids along with one little miracle– his granddaughter, Aidia. Rick’s an avid runner and enjoys golf and travelling.
SBHR: You have just joined the Hospitality Industry, which of our values helped you make the decision to join us in hospitality?
RF: It’d difficult to pick one, but if I had to, I would have to say “engagement”. During my initial meeting with GM Mike Wurster I experienced this first hand when I witnessed how effortlessly Mike spoke to every associate we encountered on my site tour– from the housekeeping staff to the kitchen team to the front line managers. I was impressed with the obvious camaraderie and team approach that everyone I met put into exceeding client expectations. I have always lived by the business rule of making 2 + 2 = 5, so it was easy to picture myself a part of this group of committed individuals.
SBHR: What is the biggest contrast between the Newspaper and Hospitality Industries?
RF: Actually the two are quite close. From a purely management standpoint – both industries have an easy to grasp sense of revenue-optimization. Just as premium room nights drive more revenue so did premium positioned ad units accomplish for the newspaper business.
On a more granular level both are also about exceeding client expectations. In the hospitality industry it’s about providing a sense of ‘home’ and comfort and trust, for both the business traveller and the leisure guest. In the newspaper industry it’s about delivering exceptional ROI to advertisers. In both instances it’s about understanding the ‘needs’ of your customers.
SBHR: What value is most important when you think about your role as Director of Sales & Marketing?
RF: Performance. To be successful we need clearly defined goals and an attitude within that drives us to want to be better all the time. Once we’re clear on what we need to achieve, my role is to provide the tools my team needs to be successful. That will involve defining on-going training opportunities, coaching, ensuring clear communication exists both within our department and with external departments, and helping my team understand that overwhelming targets are easier to achieve when you break them down into bite-sized pieces and tackle them one at a time.
SBHR: You are building a new team at the DoubleTree by Hilton™ Hotel and Conference Centre Regina, what values help you build a great sales team?
RF: I think it’s a bit like a three-legged stool, let’s call it a five-legged stool in this case. Each of the five ‘values’ supports the other. To succeed in building a great team – we need to consider and each of these; Quality, Growth, Performance, Integrity and Engagement… None are as strong in isolation as they are together.
SBHR: what do you “value” the most in your role?
RF: I look forward to seeing my team succeed. If I’ve done my job, then we’ll be reaching our performance measures consistently, and we’ll be having a good time doing it.
SBHR: Of all of our values, which one influences your day to day activities the most?
RF: Integrity. Nothing matters if we aren’t committed to our promise to customers…and our associates. We have to walk the talk every day. Keeping this value in mind allows you to be consistent in how you think and deal with all situations– it provides a clarity of purpose and a clear understanding that our word is our bond.