Christian Hassing: Mandarin Oriental, Singapore General Manager


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How did you get into the industry? Prior to my final year in high school, a friend of mine who worked as a bellboy during the summer holidays, managed to convince me to join him at the hotel. The experience of working in the glamorous industry of a luxury hotel and interacting with senior business leaders and international leisure guests became a very enjoyable and enticing experience. Since the attraction of my summer job experience lingered with me, I ended up choosing the hotel industry after completing high school, rather than pursuing an earlier aspiration of becoming an electrical engineer. Looking back on a very rewarding career which has taken me around the world, the extensive experience and acquired knowledge of working amongst multiracial cultures throughout three continents has certainly been very stimulating.

Career Advice? Be true to your passion, maintain your discipline and the highest commitment to achieve your goals.

Mary Calderon: Kuoda Travel Founder & President


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How did you get into the Industry? When I was eight years old, I used to accompany my mom to her souvenir shop in the main plaza. It was fun for me: I could meet people, learn about different cultures, make new friends. When time came to choose a career to study, I naturally looked to tourism at the national university in Cusco. One of my first jobs after university was as a trainee at what´s now Belmond Hotels. I learned a lot about customer service, and I was lucky enough that my bosses were from hotels around the world. They were direct, with high expectations. Working for them, I rediscovered how much I liked daily interaction with clients, like in the souvenir shop. After five years, I joined a luxury travel company, where we specialized in luxury travel experiences around the world. In 2003, I decided I wanted to do something smaller and more specialized on my own, and I started Kuoda. Since then, we have developed a passion for providing the ultimate travel experience for each and every guest we have the opportunity to serve.

Career Advice? Love what you do! Otherwise, learn how to love what you do. I feel so blessed that, from the very beginning, working in this industry was a pleasure for me. There is so much to learn every day! Also, build a strong network of highly qualified individuals, and try to be surrounded by the best in your industry—you will always learn something, and you will always teach something.

Michael Dounoulis: Sommelier Tobacconist, SoHo Cigar Bar


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My Thought of the Day: Celebrate everyday like it’s a victory.  

What do you love most about Your City? That it’s so full of life. I Love being GM at Soho Cigar Bar for many reasons and being able to go downtown everyday, and be in the energy is indescribable. 

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? At Soho Cigar Bar we have a filet mignon sandwich that makes my knees weak. 

Peter Egli: General Manager, Suvretta House, St. Moritz


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My Thought of the Day: That it is wonderful to offer our guests the most wonderful views into the magnificent valley of the upper Engadine.

My Deed of the Day: To deliver the service of excellence with our team from early morning to late at night.

What do you love most about Your City? That our place is located “on top of the world” surrounded by the majestic mountains, stone pine forests and the beautiful mountain lakes with this amazing abundance of fresh air.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? A freshly baked Sunday Zopf “plaited bread”, butter with Swiss mountain honey and a cappuccino followed by a green tea.

John Black: General Manager, Knai Bang Chatt


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My Goal of the Day: To empower as many people as I can. To achieve all the tasks both personal and professionally that I set out at achieve

My Deed of the Day: Make people happy, make people feel acknowledged and appreciated

What drink do you need to get through the day? I start each day with a squeezed lemon or lime in a glass of water. I usually will have two glasses of coffee with breakfast. During the day I may have a pot of green tea that I top with water or just water. Occasionally I will finish my day with a glass or two of red wine.