The Inner Circle – A True Example of Hospitality

At First Hospitality Group, everyone knows that when you’re talking about the “Inner Circle,” you’re talking about the best of the best. Each year, our top performers are hit with the spotlight, based on metrics ranging from associate satisfaction to sales yield, and awarded the greatest honor available to the senior management team; an all-expenses paid trip somewhere exciting overseas for each winner and a guest. What I feel really sets this incentive apart is that our fearless leader, Stephen Schwartz, takes the helm, committed to exposing our top performers to true four and five star hospitality. Dubai, Morocco, Israel, Japan; through thick and thin, we’ve had 20 life-changing years and counting.

In March of 2016, FHG’s best General Managers were brought together to experience the true example of hospitality that is Japan. Over the course of our trip, I witnessed extraordinary bonding and felt genuine friendships emerge. Being immersed in the Japanese culture was mind-blowing for us all. From shopping in the Ginza District and being exposed to the formality found in the traditional Japanese lodging of the Ryokan, to the youth based, borderline bizarre party scene in Shinjuku; we were able to bring together the very different and still quintessential pieces that coexist to create the Japanese experience. It was an incredible living example that helped expand the views of hospitality for all of us.

The Inner Circle truly is a life-changing travel opportunity, as well as a unique way to say “thank you.” The reason I say that is because it offers the chance to expose the cream of our crop to the culture of a place that they might have never even thought about going before. In addition, these talented team members get to experience the extraordinary hospitality of Stephen and Terry Schwartz. Our hosts’ attention to the nuances of our experience mirrored what we enjoyed at The Imperial Hotel Tokyo. The staff at the hotel, dedicated to every little detail down to the traditional Japanese bow as we entered the elevator, resulted in a higher appreciation for those details and a greater awareness of what the guest sees and experiences.  I wonder what new hospitality details we will find in one or more of our hotels!

With the Inner Circle, we aim to offer the comfort to collaborate, forge friendships, and have new experiences. The trust that we build together, the intimate exposure with our incredible leader, and the endless possibilities that are presented with this opportunity expand minds and fuel exponential growth.  In one word…Awesome!!

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