Boasting over 30 years of experience in hotel operations and hospitality management, we’re proud to be featuring Robin Cumine, General Manager at the Radisson Hotel Edmonton South, this month.
Robin’s impressive resume includes previous positions such as Vice President US Operations at Royal Host Inc. of Calgary, Alberta as well as Vice President of Hotels & Resorts for Maclab Enterprises in Edmonton. Robin currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association and is the Chair for the Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels Ltd. Not limited to hotels, Robin is also the President of the Board for Vinok World Dance… Needless to say, he’s a pretty busy fellow!
In his personal life, Robin has been happily married to his wife, Simone, for over 25 years with two children. His daughter Mireille (MJ) is an avid musician who recently graduated from the music program at Grant McEwan University. She plays 3 instruments; piano, trombone and guitar, and actively writes and performs her own music. His son, Robin, has just completed his second year of Management Studies at Grant McEwan University and enjoys playing hockey, badminton, volleyball and soccer. Simone keeps busy balancing work as a certified framer at Michaels Canada, and keeping the family organized, including their two family dogs– Hoover and Daisy.
In his spare time, Robin enjoys the odd round of golf or game of squash, both of which he jokes about playing quite poorly.
SBHR: What value is most important for you as a General Manager?
RC: Ultimately I would have to say “Performance”. We are in the business of delivering exceptional experiences to our guests and performance can be a differentiator. A high-performance culture supports our hotels success; even in difficult times. Outstanding performance generates customer loyalty and ignites employee passion. We see our results every day in the feedback that we receive from our guests. We must continue to raise our level of performance in order to meet the rising expectations of our guests.
SBHR: In your role you deal with a lot of different situations, people and tasks on a daily basis. How do the SilverBirch Values help you manage your time each day?
RC: The SilverBirch Values stand at the very core of how I lead my team. Our SB values set the tone for our hotel’s culture, and they identify what my team, as a whole, cares about. When this happens, the team understands one another, everyone does the right things for the right reasons, and this common conviction helps the team deliver exceptional guest experiences. I try to find some time each day to discover someone that has delivered on one of our Values, and recognize them for it. It is important to continue to communicate our values in order to keep them top of mind with the team.
SBHR: what do you “value” the most in your role?
RC: Seeing my team members grow (Growth); some upwards and some onwards. My main goal, other than leading the hotel towards reaching its goals, is to develop leaders. Whether it’s to take my place or to come alongside me, I need to be committed to “growing” new leaders. Jack Welch once said “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
SBHR: As a General Manager, you are the “face” of your hotel, when representing your hotel at events, in media, to the public, which value most influences you?
RC: This is an easy one: “Integrity”. I believe that Integrity is a value that runs through everything that I stand for. Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances. Even more than that, it is the value that guarantees that all the other values are delivered. Integrity is the number one quality of leadership. It is demonstrated through keeping one’s word. The glue that holds the relationship between the leader and the team is trust; and trust is rooted in integrity
SBHR: We are coming into the Christmas Season now and have launched our Annual “Friends In Need” Charity Campaign. What values do you look for in a charity partner for this campaign and others throughout the year?
RC: In 2012 our Friends in Need Donation was to “Make –A –Wish Foundation”. Michelle Flemming our Atrium Manager came to the leadership team and success committee to request that we adopt the Northern Alberta Make-A-Wish as our Friends in Need choice. Once that was approved, she started to work her magic.
She convinced me to issue a challenge to the staff that if they could raise $1,500 I would remove my mustache; of 37 years. Chantal Tetlock jumped on the challenge and tossed the first $100 on the table. The $2 Star program was born, and Stars started springing up everywhere, in the Champions Café and the Atrium. An ugly sweater contest was held over Christmas on Fridays… A special gift promotion (Nov 24) was hosted in the Atrium, where people could buy Christmas gifts and 10% of the sales went to the charity. A 50/50 was run during our winter gala, and the staff made their personal donations. All in all $8,034 was raised; overall an amazing amount. But this is a special amount too. Why? Because $8,000 allowed us to Adopt A Child’s Wish. And That Is A Truly Amazing Thing!! So we got to adopt a very special young lady named Jessie and grant her special wish. After a wish is granted wish parents say it makes kids feel stronger and more energetic. We hosted Jessie as a special guest princess at our summer staff barbeque, and she was presented with some special gifts, and she and her mom got to spend a few hours at the hotel. At her request she got a full tour of the property. It was a truly magical and rewarding day. So to answer your question, I would have to say “Engagement”, as the entire team was engaged with Jessie, and the Northern Alberta Make-A-Wish team throughout the year. It is very important that the hotel and the charity of choice be engaged not only during the Christmas season, but throughout the year!