Name: Edward Maynard
Title: General manager
Company, city: The Westin New York Grand Central, New York City
Number of employees: 435
Recent project: Opening of the 2,800-square-foot Madison Ballroom, the hotel’s primary social event space
First job: Dishwasher at an ice cream parlor in Aviation Mall, Glen Falls, N.Y.
Little-known fact about you: This November, I celebrated my 50th birthday by running my fifth New York City Marathon with my 24-year-old daughter, who ran her first marathon.
Essential business philosophy: Act like an owner and make decisions in the best interest of all stakeholders. Throughout my career, I’ve approached the job as though I own the hotel. When I make decisions or evaluate a situation, I ask myself, “If this were my money and my business, what would I do?” General managers don’t often approach things as personally as I might on a consistent basis, whether it involves purchases, contracts or pieces of business we are evaluating.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Knowledge. Being on top of industry standards allows us to make cutting-edge and competitive decisions. As an NYU professor, I’ve found that’s also a requirement of students; they look to us as professionals to educate them about the latest and best in the industry.
Yardstick of success: Three things, the first of which is the RevPar index [revenue per available room]. In the hotel industry, we don’t judge success by occupancy and average rate, but by a combined figure measured against our competitive set. It’s the real scorecard for successful managers, along with guest satisfaction and employee satisfaction.
Edward Maynard as a Traveler
What is the most important item you take when traveling? A picture of my children
How do you spend your time on board? On domestic flights, I catch up on emails; on an overseas trip, I balance work and play by catching up on movies and emails.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? Hostaria Giggetto in Rome, not far from the Trevi Fountain, has the best mozzarella in the world.
What is your favorite destination in the world? With my children, it’s Tucson, Ariz., for its great horse ranches. For a tropical vacation, Barbados has the best beaches and a truly welcoming environment. For sightseeing and culture, Rome; I took a cooking tour of Italy that stopped there, and I can’t wait to go back.
About The Westin New York Grand Central
Tell us about the recent renovations at The Westin New York Grand Central: Our $75 million renovation completely transformed the hotel. We redesigned all of our guestrooms and interior spaces, in addition to changing our façade and adding a porte cochere to create a distinctive arrival experience. Our spacious guestrooms have Westin’s signature amenities like the Heavenly Bed and Bath and eco-friendly materials to conserve water and energy. We equipped our state-of-the-art meeting space with some of the highest bandwidth in Manhattan, plus new carpeting and lighting, while preserving a sense of the hotel’s history with restored oak paneling. We added four break-out rooms and a spectacular social event space, Madison Ballroom. The renovation extended the lobby to 42nd Street to include THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen, the first Gerber Group concept in a Westin property. One of our most popular additions is our 3,000-square-foot WestinWORKOUT fitness studio.
What does the property offer business travelers? The Westin offers a well-balanced environment of thoughtful amenities and great business essentials, including fast Internet access, a business center, tremendously appointed meeting rooms with natural light, and a great food and beverage program with THE LCL and 24-hour in-room dining. We make it easy for travelers to stay well on the road, with our gym available complimentary 24/7 to guests and our New Balance workout gear lending program. Every essential a business traveler needs can be found within our hotel.
How does your property stand out among other New York City hotels? We have some of the greatest guestrooms in New York City, incredibly spacious and newly refreshed with signature brand amenities. Our location in the heart of Midtown Manhattan is central to everything, especially public transportation. We are competitively priced, offering the best value in New York for a first-class-branded hotel, along with a great loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest.
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