We're proud of our team and their diverse backgrounds and experiences. It's what makes us great. In our "Kenekting with our Experts" series, we're excited to shine light on our talented leaders to share their story and their insights.
First up: Mr. Leo Neves.
Q: What was your first job in hospitality?
Leo: Dishwasher. When I was 16 years old my first true job was as a dishwasher during my summer break. I don’t count all the previous restaurant cleaning jobs I always helped my family with during my teenage years.
Q: What "virtue" do you possess that you believe has had the biggest impact on your growth and development? Why?
Leo: Patience. It’s hard for anything to rattle me, and as a leader you cannot show weakness during difficult times when your team is looking to you for guidance. No matter what, if you don’t know the solution or you're scared of the situation, you still have to guide a team. Also, it takes a while for leaders to develop and they will make mistakes, so if you don’t give them the time to develop and help work through issues you will always find yourself looking for the new and best thing instead of the great talent that may be in front of you.
Q: What's one trend have you noticed in the hospitality industry that excites you? Where do you see it going in 2021?
Leo: I think the most exciting part will be the re-birth of the industry. There was so much that was lost during this year and so many iconic places have closed. People are going to go out more than ever but where they go will have to be different.
Q: What’s a cause that’s important to you?
Leo: Immigration and the opportunities that the United States presents for good working people. In countries like Brazil, where I’m from, when you’re poor you’re poor, and when you’re rich you’re rich. Things always stay that way, and you never see movement from one class to another. In the USA the opportunity is there, it's just about what people will do with it.
Q: What is one type of cuisine you’d like to explore?
Leo: I have tried so much but the one that I am not too familiar with is Indian, I have never been a big curry fan and that is a big part of Indian cuisine, but I would like to explore it more.
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