Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

To my family, friends and co-workers;

This past week and a half has been, personally for me, the most difficult of 2020… a year we can all agree has by its very nature been tough on all of us.

I have been diagnosed with “walking pneumonia” which has sapped me of much of my energy and leaves me out of breath following any amount of physical activity, including walking. I was tempted to feel sorry for myself. I wanted to focus on the accumulation of personal health issues as well as business challenges and ongoing head-winds therein. Honestly, I have been tempted to just focus on all of the negatives in life. But, then I decided instead of hosting a pity party, I would pray.

When I prayed, God put the book of Isaiah on my heart. Specifically, Isaiah 41:10—'Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.' As a result, God revealed several truths to me. Namely, that we are going to get through these tough times. We are going to persevere. We are going to come out even stronger on the other side. Why? Because God is with us and because God is our strength, comfort and guide. (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I am grateful to live in a nation where we have the freedom to express our religious liberties and personal faith. I pray regularly that I will have the courage to speak out and confront the enemies of our freedom as our forefathers once did. Because of their heroism and sacrifices, you and I benefit and for that I am deeply grateful. It’s a reminder for me that one day we will be held accountable before God for our actions and I am convinced that we will be asked the following two questions; [1] What did you do about my Son whom I sent to die for you? and [2], what did you do with the gifts and talents that I gave you?

Although we don’t have any control over how our life story begins, we do have a say in how it ends. Are you making the most of your time?

As we approach this Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays of the year, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that you are one of the things that I am most thankful for.

Please stay healthy and safe.

Fred [Coach]

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Leading During Difficult Times

The world we live in right now is filled with uncertainty. The coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic has changed the way we live, work, play, think and even worship. It has impacted every area of our lives and has caused a great deal of fear. The number one source of fear is the fear of the unknown. If we are totally honest, each of us have significant doses of that currently. At times our lives seem surreal. I have to admit that I wake up on occasion asking, did that just really happen? 

As leaders, we are frustrated by not having answers to all the questions we typically can easily respond to with a reasonable amount of certainty. Not so today, under current circumstances. No one knows what the future holds in regards to the Coronavirus. Everywhere we look we see that everything that we once knew to be true has changed. The way we do business has changed, the way our children are taught has changed, even the restaurants we frequent have been forced to change the way they do business. Consistency brings comfort, inconsistency causes fear. 

As leaders, we would all like to think that in the midst of a crisis we would be brave. I love this definition of courage; “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the determination that something else is more important than fear.” [Ambrose Redmoon] 

Consistent, strong leadership is one of the keys to having a successful business and winning team. We are blessed to have a strong leadership team which has a tremendous amount of experience and a strong will to succeed along with a deep desire to do the right thing. Most importantly, they care deeply for those they have been given the responsibility to lead.

Here are some things we know to be true; Nobody has experienced anything quite like this; God loves us and desires to have a personal relationship with us; He promises to guide and protect us; My favorite bible verse that I often reach for during times of trouble is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” When I am fearful, this is the verse that I can count on to help curb my fears.During difficult times new leaders emerge, step up to the plate and make those difficult decisions that have to be made for the good of everyone. They lead with purpose and integrity. They care deeply for those they lead. Douglas MacArthur once said, “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent."

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Learning to Succeed

This past week, Hotel Equities graduated its tenth class from the Management Development Program [MDP]. This program is one of five current training programs being offered, with a sixth in the pipeline. MDP follows in line with Hotel Equities’ third Value Statement, “Hire an attitude and teach them the business.” Learning and development is defined as “improving group and individual performance by honing skills and increasing knowledge”. During the Management Development Program, individuals must complete twenty-two self-directed modules that provide them an insight into the operational side of working in a hotel. In addition to the modules, they each must complete a self-designed and implemented project which either increases revenue or decreases expenses at their hotel equal to the approximate cost of their training.

I can’t over emphasize how critical it is to seek opportunities to continue education in order to grow both personally and in your career development. I truly believe that training is a key stepping stone to our long term success.

All of the training programs offered at Hotel Equities are taught through experiential learning, defined as the process of learning through experience. Research shows that there are three reasons why experiential learning is most effective; [1] it accelerates learning, [2] it increases levels of engagement with others and [3] it enables self-paced personalized learning.

Aristotle said it best. “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”

I say all of this to encourage you to always take the opportunity to learn as much as you can, as often as you can. Try to become a bit better at what you do each and every day. I encourage you to find a mentor who will help you throughout each stage in your life. Read a lot and learn through other people’s experiences, as well as your own. One of my personal mentors once told me, “You ought to learn from the mistakes of others, since you’re unlikely to live long enough to make them all on your own”.

Here’s to your personal learning and development program.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Money Well Spent

This February, Hotel Equities held our Annual GM/DOS Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. The conference brings everyone together in one location to participate in team building and training sessions to further develop their skills and talents, to recognize and celebrate successes and to look ahead to the future.

A lot of time and resources are spent planning and executing these events, so we want to ensure all attendees have a positive experience. Therefore, we always ask for their feedback afterwards. As I reflect on the week’s events and continue to receive feedback from the attendees, it’s clear that bringing everyone together is money well spent.

During past downturns in the economy, when nearly all hospitality companies were eliminating their annual conferences, HE viewed this time as an opportunity to show our leaders how committed we were to their growth and well-being by continuing to have our leadership retreats. One of the key aspects of the retreat is for the participants to meet new folks who are peers, to share new ideas and build comradery. When things begin to get off-track at the property level, GM’s are more likely to call a peer to discuss how they might have handled a similar situation. Having someone who is going through something similar is extremely important in this industry. Also, learning alongside your peers can often be energizing to leaders.

We like to celebrate successes and recognize those who have gone above and beyond. HE holds an award’s night at every conference, rewarding different individuals and properties throughout the portfolio for a job well done. Seeing peers cross the stage to pick up well-deserved awards is motivating to many individuals and encourages them to commit to work harder and smarter to get on stage next year.    

The conference allows the home office coaching staff to share their experience and wisdom in dealing with complicated issues. This year, we also had the opportunity to introduce our new strategic alliance partner from Virtua Partners’ team to the associates in attendance.

The conference was a successful event and just like every year, we look forward to the next one and all that we will learn from it. One of Hotel Equities’ 12 value statements asks the question, “If it were my money would I spend it?” The resounding answer regarding this year’s Leadership summit is, Yes!

Hospitably Yours,

Monday, November 26, 2018

We Want You

I’m proud to say that Hotel Equities kicked off our company-wide military recruitment initiative this year. Through the process, I was happy to learn that HE already has many great former service members working with us. Active duty, veterans, and military spouses, you are all uniquely qualified for this industry. After all, that’s how I got my start… 

I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves during a time when the Vietnam War was expanding. I served a total of six years. I went to Parris Island for Boot Camp and then, after Basic Training, went to Advanced Infantry training and Jungle Warfare training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The recruiting sergeant told me that my reserve unit would be activated and would spend approximately 13 months in Vietnam. I was also told that following a two-year tour of active duty, I would be re-assigned to my reserve unit, have the opportunity to return to college and, upon completion, would have the opportunity to apply for Officer’s Candidate School.

Upon completion of our training and just prior to my unit being shipped out to Vietnam, 10 members of our unit, including myself, were given orders to return to my hometown of Boston to help ready equipment and supplies to be shipped alongside us overseas. After the completion of the readying of our gear and while we were still awaiting our Vietnam assignment orders, we were given permission by our commanding officer to look for temporary work as long as we stayed in shape and called in to the base every day. We were assured by our CO that we could be leaving any day. Because I was honest in saying that I might be leaving for Vietnam soon, no one would hire me.

My uncle Al, who worked for Sheraton, helped me get a job interview at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and, while still awaiting my unit’s orders of deployment, I worked at the hotel as a mail and information clerk. For some unknown reason, our orders of assignment to Vietnam never came. Here I am 50 years later, still excited about the hotel business and enjoying the hospitality industry as much as I did at the start. I am forever thankful that the General Manager of the hotel, Mr. Max Dean, took a chance and hired me.

Hospitably Yours,

Friday, July 27, 2018

Developing Leaders, Changing Lives

This week, we celebrated our Management Development Program (MDP) graduating class. As their final assignment, each member gave a presentation to our leadership team, providing an overview of the individual projects they completed during the nine-month course. I’m always impressed by the level of professionalism these associates develop over the short period of time they are in MDP, but this week’s presentations were something to write home about (or in this case, to blog about)! 

When the presentations were finished, I found myself downloading with the rest of my team, discussing the great projects we’d heard. Even more so, discussing the level of talent each of the associates possess and the unique skillsets they each bring to the table because of their diverse backgrounds. 

Some of you may know that I was a student of Sheraton’s hotel management training program early in my career and my experience was life-changing. It resulted in my own passion for developing others, though at the time, I had no idea to what extent that vision would become reality.  

Today, Hotel Equities has an extensive offering of world-class hotel management training programs available to associates, students and recent college graduates interested in continuing their growth in the hospitality industry. I have stories of one-on-one mentoring experiences throughout the years, and stories of HE’s training program graduates… housekeepers becoming senior vice presidents and doormen becoming award-winning general managers. 

As leaders, it’s our job to develop others and to never allow an associate’s potential to go unnoticed. I hope you are taking an active interest in the growth and success of those you lead.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Have you ever asked yourself “Why am I here?”

I think it’s a question that surfaces in each of us at some point in our life.  I call it the search for significance.  We hope that when we leave this earth, we will have made a difference.

Life shouldn’t be just about making more money, buying a bigger home or having a selection of cars in the garage. It may include those things, but it must be more. 

First, we must recognize our strengths, based on our God-given gifts and talents.  Then we must choose to utilize those strengths by developing a servant attitude whereby we can help others improve their lot. Until we begin to utilize our gifts in that manner, we typically feel empty, restless and uncertain of our true calling and purpose. 

Beyond our family and friends, we have the greatest opportunity to influence others at our place of work… guests/customers, fellow associates, subordinates, bosses, peers, vendors, owners, competitors and the like. The ultimate reward is the opportunity to make a meaningful, significant and positive difference in their lives.

Once we embrace our gifts and talents and find a workplace where we can exercise them in a manner which lifts others, we are made whole. Only then do we discover the real reason why we are here.


Welcome to Fred Cerrone's Blog

Welcome to “Stuff Worth Sharing”! It is our hope that this blog will help you to know more about our Founder & Chairman, Fred Cerrone, as well as gain some insight into his vision and dreams for Hotel Equities. We welcome your feedback as well as any topics that you would like Fred to cover. Thanks for all you do to help make Hotel Equities a success!

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