In college, Dan Harwood worked as a room service associate at a White Lodging property to make some extra money. Along with a paycheck, he found his passion: Being motivated by new challenges, feeding his competitive nature, and aspiring to be the best. He found that hospitality was similar to his experiences of being on a sports team in the way the hotel team continuously worked together to improve their departments and challenged one another to do his or her best. After years in operations and being a “player” on a winning team, he then decided he wanted to be the “coach” – a general manager of his own hotel.
After 16 years at White Lodging, Dan knows that experience is essential for him to continue moving up his career ladder. He has eagerly sought out opportunities for growth by taking on tough assignments, gaining critical experience as a manager in food & beverage and front office operations, and working in both full service and select service hotels to diversify his experience.
Along with great results, all of these opportunities culminated in Dan achieving his goal of being a general manager of his own hotel. Following three general manager assignments in select service and experience in downtown Chicago, Dan decided he wanted to move back to full service as he missed the food and beverage aspect of the business. With this in mind, White Lodging provided Dan weeks of additional F&B training to help him succeed as a leader in the industry and transition him back into full service as a general manager.
Today, Dan is the general manager at the full service Holiday Inn Chicago Midway property where he oversees both hotel operations and the hotel’s Coaches’ restaurant. What’s next? Whether it is additional experience at different select service or full service property, or a new experience at a convention hotel, Dan is determined to keep growing his career and knows that White Lodging is growing fast enough to provide those opportunities.