Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Hint: Your username should be the initial of your first name and your last name.
Example: John Smith would be jsmith




DATE: October 6, 2015
FROM: Marshall Hilliard, Vice President of Sales and Marketing; Bissell Hotels
RE: Dee Wood

Dee Wood
Dee Wood
I am excited to share that Dee Wood has returned to The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge as senior catering sales manager. With her strong background in catering sales, event execution and client relationships, Dee is a natural fit for this role. As senior catering sales manager, Dee is responsible for selling weddings and social functions at The Ballantyne. 

Most recently, Dee worked as director of catering at Queens University of Charlotte with Chartwells Higher Education. Dee also served as director of catering at Ballantyne Country Club and director of member and social events at Providence Country Club.

Prior to that, Dee worked as senior catering sales manager at The Ballantyne. She began her career at The Duke Mansion as an event sales manager.

Dee received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Please join me in welcoming back Dee!

Vote for Austin Kendall as WSOC-TV’s Player of the Year

Austin Kendall, son of Kim Kendall, is up for the WSOC-TV Big 22 Player of the Year and needs votes to move on to be a Top 5 Finalist.  Any and all votes are very much appreciated. Please register and vote for Austin Kendall up to nine times per day through Thursday, October 8. 

Congratulations to the September Franchise Player Winners

Arlie Robinson a Housekeeper who came to Staybridge and Bissell with Hospitality Industry experience, is Service Oriented in customer service, which is a trait she had when joining our team. She too proved to be Knowledgeable in many areas of housekeeping from laundry to cleaning rooms making her an even bigger asset to our team. 

~David Scapicchio

Phyllis Obasi is self-motivated.  She wants her work and those that work with her to be rated excellent by the guest. In conversations with Phyllis and seeing her at work she is open to change.  Her abilities allow her to take in new information, new job situations, and new schedule changes and handle them with ease. 

~Raquel Barjas

Larry Wright displays the service oriented trait by smiling and speaking to all guests.  Every time he goes on a shuttle run he politely acknowledges the guests and loads their luggage for them. It is not just that he does it but rather how it does it. His sincere and genuine attitude resonates with the guests.  We are lucky to have Larry as part of our team as he performs his job each day with integrity and pride. 

~Maria Anguisaca

Linda Lemmons is a team player that will help with any issue she can. Linda will step out of comfort zone “to try,” that’s what she always says. When asking Linda to help with something in housekeeping her answer is yes “I’ll try." Linda will take the time to find answers for you no matter what the question may be. She is our fitness guru at Courtyard. She keeps us in touch with health and fitness updates.  Linda is all ways on the move and tries to keep us moving as well. 

~Cynthia Robinson

Cynthia Robinson has taken the initiative to further her knowledge and experience by signing up for computer, IT and any other training classes that are offered through the company. Having the desire to expand your knowledge is exactly what a continuous learner does. Cynthia is always excited to learn new things! 

~Lori Freeman

Sandra Stilley is always willing to go above and beyond. Sandra is creative in her efforts to make every guest’s stay special and unique. Sandra is a team player working with all departments to make every interaction memorable. 

~Jennifer Bingham

I am continually impressed with Allison Meyer’s positive attitude, enthusiasm, organization and professionalism (both internally and with guests). All of these attributes combined give Allison multiple Franchise Player traits:   “Slight Edge,” “Motivated,” “Creative,” and “Self Esteem.” Allison Performs Best Practices; always striving to coordinate her weddings and social events with every detail in perfect place, taking the time to really listen to her clients, and researching trends and procedures to make each event a success.

~ Megan Quesenberry, Charlene Smith, Carrie Sepesy & Ashley Nguyen

Kyle Manus believes in the Bissell story as he consistently strives for and encourages his team to maintain the Bissell mission and vision in all areas of the golf course as well as property under his care and supervision. It is evident he takes pride in his work and what is showcased daily to not only the golfers playing the course, but also the guests of Ballantyne and ownership; all appreciating how well the course and landscape is maintained. 

~Kelly Penick

Richard Cornwell having Richard on the accounting team has been such a relief for the entire front office because he is able to be a liaison between his team and ours. On a daily basis, he fields many calls from guests in regards to billing questions and is always willing to assist us with finding resolutions. Richard has been especially helpful during our difficult staffing times by offering extra assistance whenever needed and taking charge of all guest inquiries that come our way. We are truly thankful for his efforts and attitude towards helping guests in a timely manner, and his willingness to assist our team. 

~Front Office Management Team

Rosie Bastida is the best in her field, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the organization and the team. She takes great pride in high quality of guest treatments at The Ballantyne Spa, continuously improving and increasing the level of her team’s training. She is also a self-motivated, creative and continuous learner, always striving to excel. 

~Olga Hoagland

Elizabeth Guevara has demonstrated flexibility by working additional hours while attending school full-time. As a spa attendant Elizabeth works lifting, cleaning, washing laundry, serving, multitasking and catering to our distinguished guest. During her time here Elizabeth has never called out of work. She is extremely dependable by being on time daily and extending her shifts when needed. 

~Theresa Calloway

Margaret Bahr is Loyal. With over 20 years as a part of Bissell you can check off the “long term” portion of the definition. What I find of great value and more important is that although she has proven her loyalty through years of service, it is her desire to work for the organization with a long term mind set.  We are reaping the benefits at The Ballantyne of sales calls made over a decade ago.  The reason we reap those benefits now is because of Margaret’s focus on the customer and her team, not herself. 

~Brian Schleicher

Sonia Villegas brightens my day. I can rely on her because she is a team player.  She always puts forth the extra effort to make sure all tasks are executed efficiently. Sonia is a continuous learner and is interested in acquiring skills in multiple departments.

 ~Amanda Persaud

Edwina James demonstrates a strong work ethic and flexibility daily. This year there have been numerous occasions where Edwina has simultaneously assisted the front office and handled demanding group coordinator tasks for in house reservations on the same day. I have personally witnessed Edwina taking ownership of challenging items willingly to support myself and the front office team. She even offered to bring a lost item to guest on her way home. She met him at the departures gate at the airport.  The guest of course was ecstatic and I was completely blown away by her willingness to go above and beyond. 

~Carrie Sepesy & Selena Talbert

Kirsten Cavallo is very diligent and focused in her pursuit of excellence as she continues to work through many challenges with this new system. Kirsten has earned the respect of the entire team by jumping in and taking on this major transition and challenge.  I have seen Kirsten in action as she trains others on this system.  She is well spoken and knowledgeable.  Kirsten has made a major impact in the area of shared services and truly exemplifies the Franchise Player traits of not only a continuous learner, but is service oriented and a team player.  

~Emily Little

Jeff Ellison stepped in after our vendor failed in their attempts to diagnose and resolve an HVAC issue.  He turned the situation around. Jeff took full ownership of this situation even though he was thrown in late in the game. He assessed the HVAC system, made adjustments, reviewed previous work performed by a vendor, executed a plan to ensure our tenant’s comfort while  protecting the owner’s interest, and checked in (on site) on the frustrated tenant daily for over a week, reporting findings to the Property Manager and tenant. 

~Leigh Thomas

Over the past few months, Bridget Holland has risen to become one of the Leasing Team’s most valuable resources during a period of transition within her own department.  Bridget has been extraordinarily flexible and patient during this time with fellow colleagues and external customers.  She has been timely in her work and fun to work with.

~Rett Turner

Emma Barnes of The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge Wins Student Chef Award

Emma Barnes is the 2015 recipient of the ACF North Carolina Student Chef of the Year Award. She was ecstatic when she found out about the honor. "I nearly jumped out of my skin. I have been working so hard at perfecting my culinary and pastry aspects that I have learned. Winning this award made me feel accomplished."

As a chef at The Ballantyne and student at Central Piedmont Community College, Emma has a lot on her plate. She has been with The Ballantyne for almost a year and enjoys her job and the people with whom she works. "They keep me laughing and yet challenge me to push myself in ways I never have before. I like being challenged because it keeps things interesting." 

Emma has learned a lot working at The Ballantyne and says creativity is the most beneficial thing she has learned. "I have always been a little creative, but it wasn't until I started working at the hotel that I realized my artistic ability that my co-workers pulled out of me. I have also learned a tremendous amount of professionalism."

Working and going to school can be tough. Emma's advice for other student employees is never to give up. "If you are not 100% invested in your job and you are not happy, then that is not the job for you. I have never been more tired, sorer and more mentally stretched in my life and I love it every day!"

Emma is hardworking and dedicated to both her job and her education. Goals have been a fun and interesting part of her life recently. "I have written them down, torn them up and re-written them. My goals are to graduate, travel, get married, open my bakery, get a bachelor of science in human nutrition and start a nonprofit to provide cooking lessons for underprivileged kids."

Congratulations, Emma! 



DATE: October 5, 2015
FROM: Crystal Palmer, General Manager, Ballantyne Business Center
RE: Jenny Laney

Jenny Laney
Jenny Laney
I am pleased to announce that Jenny Laney is joining the Ballantyne Business Center team. With a strong background in customer service, Jenny will be a valuable asset in this role. As a Customer Service Representative, she will be responsible for greeting our clients and guests as well as other administrative duties.  

Prior to Jenny joining BBC, Jenny served in Bissell’s reservations department at The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge.

Please join me in congratulating Jenny on her new role!

Bissell Volleyball Teams Beat the Rainy Weather

The weather cleared up just in time for the volleyball competition on September 30! Servin Em Hot won against Procter & Gamble and The Bissell Bees lost to LendingTree. Check out both Bissell Teams on Wednesday, October 7 as Servin' Em Hot goes up against Baby Got Bump at 5:40 p.m. and The Bissell Bees take on Horizon Investments at 6:25 p.m.



DATE: October 1, 2015
FROM: Tom Pizzo, President of Property Services
RE: Amanda Singleton

Amanda Singleton
Amanda Singleton

I am excited to share that Amanda Singleton has joined the property services team as a property assistant within the portfolio managed by Leigh Thomas.  

Amanda has experience in residential property management and accounting. Most recently, Amanda worked as a property administrator with Related Management in New York City.

Amanda earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from East Carolina University College of Business in Greenville, North Carolina.

Please join me in welcoming Amanda to the Bissell team.


CLTURE Features Sous Chef Matt Tilman

Gallery Restaurant Sous Chef Matt Tilman was interviewed by CLTURE, a new blog covering Southeast music, food and culture. Click here to read the article!

Team Bissell Fights Kid's Cancer at the Isabella Santos Foundation Race

The 8th Annual Isabella Santos Foundation 5K/10K and 1-mile fun run, presented by Metlife and Burns Cadillac was held on September 26. There were over 1500 participants despite the rainy weather! Thank you and congratulations to all participating employees! Click here to view WBTV's feature on the race.

Pictured from left to right: Hailey Rorie, Heather Jordan, Gavin, Mike Rayfield, Dahianna Mercedes, Maria Alarcon, Aura Beato, Eulimar Orozco, Joe Hallow, Aracelis Mendez, Arlexis Lancacho, Paul Cattieu, Teresa Jones, Alex Refalo, Erik Kennelly, Rebecca Whitmarsh, Amy Putnam and Jessica Steves 



DATE: September 25, 2015
FROM: Rebecca Whitmarsh, General Manager, Aloft 
RE: Amy Putnam, Assistant General Manager 

Pariss Coleman
Amy Putnam 

I am pleased to announce that Amy Putnam has been promoted to Assistant General Manager at Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne. With a strong background in hospitality customer service, Amy will be a valuable asset in this role. As Assistant General Manager, she will be responsible for hotel operations and driving guest satisfaction initiatives.  

Amy joined Bissell Hotels in 2013 as our Guest Services Manager. She was instrumental in successfully activating SPG keyless and the adoption of SPG preferences at Aloft. Additionally, Amy combated negative guest style comments by implementing first-time Aloft guest room cards, which highlight key differences to set the tone for a new stay. Amy is actively involved in Bissell activities including Spirit to Serve Events, Book Club and volunteering for Bissell Family Fun Day. 

Prior to Amy joining Bissell, Amy served as the Front Desk Supervisor and Head Concierge at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, WY. Additionally, Amy worked at Safe Alliance in the Victim Services Department in Charlotte where she assisted victims of crimes, facilitated support groups and served as a liaison between victims and the justice system.

Amy received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Queens University in 2010. 

Please join me in congratulating Amy on her promotion! 

Staybridge Suites Housekeeping Photo Contest Winner

The winners of the first Staybridge Suites Botanical Garden photo contest are Cindy Constante and Martha Rodas. A special shout-out to the talented Ray Sepesy who was a primary photo judge. Cindy and Martha paired up to capture this great shot and were awarded the top prize of $25. The trip and contest were a huge win for Staybridge Suites Charlotte Ballantyne and the team is already discussing the next Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden outing! 

Ned Curran on Carolina Business Review

Bissell President & CEO Ned Curran was featured on Carolina Business Review on September 25 for a discussion on the power of collaboration, transportation funding and speculative development. Click here to view the video. 

Spirit to Serve Volunteers at Hospitality House of Charlotte

Spirit to Serve volunteers completed a successful project on September 23 at Hospitality House of Charlotte (HHC). The team of 17 spent two hours deep cleaning the house and tidying public spaces, which provides shelter to out-of-town families while their loved ones receive treatment at nearby hospitals. The group's tasks included dusting blinds, sweeping off sidewalks, and more. For many guests, Hospitality House is more than just a place to sleep; its a home away from home where they can find comfort during a stressful time. Thank you to all who participated in this initiative! 

Please stay tuned for more Spirit to Serve opportunities, and how you can help us reach our goal of 800 volunteer hours in 2015!

Pictured left to right: (Back Row) Tony Beathea, Cynthia Robinson, Alan Grant, Dorothy Curry, Rosa Fernandez, Jessica Steves, Tonya Payton, Alex Refalo, Amy Putnam, Adreena Redd, Adreena's son, Trevor. (Front Row) Megan Quesenberry, Eulimar Orozco, Melinda Plavnicky, Emily Brandewie, Tonya's daughter, Morgan and Adreena's daughter, Chelsea. 

Let's Connect on Facebook!


"Like" the Bissell page to find out about news and events within the organization. 

"Like" the Ballantyne Corporate Park page to learn about news and events in corporate park.

Copyright 2013 by GoBissell.com