A veteran of the hotel industry for nearly 20 years, Barry Johnson is learning an entirely new side of the hospitality industry as Rooms Division Manager for the Delta Vancouver Suites Hotel.
Originally executive chef and director of food and beverage with Delta hotels, he transferred to his new position in 2008.
Barry says as Rooms Division Manager he enjoys interacting with guests throughout the day while working closely with the front office staff, housekeeping department and engineering teams to ensure all guests are well taken care of.
“I love seeing peoples’ reactions and hearing their comments about our great city and province. You can meet people from all over the world by just standing in the hotel lobby and talking to guests,” says Barry.
Qualities pertinent to his position include a high degree of efficiency, initiative, dedication and the ability to communicate well with others – whether it’s with guests or staff. And key duties include resolving customer complaints, recruiting and supervising of staff.
Barry credits his success to the fantastic support of his co-workers and company, as he continues to conquer challenges including learning everything from revenue management to the hotel software and even the engineering aspect.
“I have been very fortunate to have worked with a lot of great people that have helped me steer my career in a path that is best for me and my family,” says Barry. “Delta Hotels is a great company that puts people like myself in new and challenging positions and allows us to grow.”
After working three seasons with Delta Whistler Resort, Barry pursued his passion of cooking and worked his way up within the kitchen. Beginning as a dishwasher and prep cook, he eventually became a sous chef and then executive chef. Almost immediately, he says he knew the hospitality industry was the place for him, and he has not looked back since.
While Barry has transitioned between various areas of the hotel, he is not only a classic example of a “move on up in the tourism industry” success story, but he is also working towards an overall larger goal. Barry is working towards becoming a general manager of a hotel within the company.
“Even though in this career you can pick up and move anywhere in the world, I plan to be living in North Vancouver with my wife and daughter hopefully as general manager of a Delta Hotel,” says Barry.
When Barry first started out in the industry, he completed a cooking diploma and since then he has been trained internally by the company’s regional and national trainers and the human resources department.
“I also plan to enroll in a program at Vancouver Community College in the future that offers senior managers and general managers a chance to receive a degree that will allow you to apply to any university for your masters down the road.”
The best piece of advice Barry would give newcomers, or even those already in the industry, is to find a company that has common values and a culture that fits your style. Within that company, he then recommends to find a mentor that can become a mentor.