Sherry Abedi is the General Manager of Quirk Hotel, A Destination Hotel and comes from a distinguished career managing restaurants, hotels and resorts and is recognized as an award-winning professional in the hotel industry. Before accepting the position at Quirk Hotel, Abedi was the Resort Manager at Lansdowne Resort, a Destination Resort, which is a AAA Four Diamond resort in Leesburg, Virginia. Prior to Lansdowne Resort, Abedi was the Food and Beverage Director at Madison Hotel, a Destination Hotel and a consultant for several resorts and clubs in California, including: Hotel Casa Del Mar, Terranea Resort, Ace Hotel and Swim Club, Atwater Restaurant, Shutters on the Beach, Jonathan Club and Viceroy Palm Springs.
What do you do best?
I am a firm believer that promoting collaboration is the best way to lead a team. The hospitality industry is a ‘people’ business, and the collaborative work process allows you to recognize an individual’s strengths and soft skills, and the ways you can further harness them.
What makes you the best?
Though striving for excellence is something I always work towards, I certainly don’t think I am the best! That said, I do expect excellence of myself and of my team and use this as a guiding principle in my work.
How will you stay the best?
I generally believe that staying successful in life means being open to change and others’ opinions. Innovating and evolving is what life is all about, and those of us who are the most open to change are often the ones who are thriving.
It’s often the seemingly smallest moments in my life that ever eventually register as a “win”: a thank you from a colleague, or being able to help out a stranger are some of the unplanned moments for me that end up being the most fulfilling.
What are your aspirations?
Personal: I love to try new things I hope to never lose my passion for learning.
Business: In the next year, I look forward to seeing the Quirk Hotel succeed as a destination for locals and visitors alike, as it will be an authentic, convivial experience anyone with a love for art, design, food and hospitality will appreciate.
Most challenging moment?
As a general statement, openings – whether a hotel, store, or restaurant – are the most challenging but also the most rewarding. My career has been filled with them over the years, and success in these instances, relies on your ability to adjust and adapt to new situations. I’ve read that Deepak Chopra lives fast by the motto to, “wish for a day more uncertain than the last.” The idea behind this is that when [one] surrenders to uncertainty, nothing ever goes wrong; a philosophy I certainly appreciate in theory, but can’t really practice when opening a new hotel!
What fascinates you?
Travelling and any opportunity to learn more about people and culture.
My favorite motto is a simple one from early in my career when I helped open the now notable Sky Bar at the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles. My boss would tell me, “100% Guest retention. Have fun. Make money!” which I’ve always felt was a conventional wisdom in hospitality that actually was pretty accurate – none of those pieces are truly possible without the others.
Maybe because my work often spans many hours of the day, in my personal life, I find myself most comfortable around those who don’t take themselves too seriously, have a passion for good food and drink, and a creative sense of humor!
I grew up in Southern California and enjoy any chance to be close to a beach.
Uber, Blue Apron, Hello Alfred and any of the other technology-based startups that anticipate my needs before I do! While I don’t use all of them, I am an advocate for anything that can make my life run a bit more seamlessly. As my day often starts well before the sun comes up, and ends quite late into the evening, I have to give myself every opportunity to enjoy the free moments.
I have been fortunate to have lived in some truly world-class cities like Richmond, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. that really provide this laboratory for learning and culture. The theatre, ballet, music concerts and almost every type of performance art captivates me, and these cities have no shortage of them.