Monday, September 30, 2013

You Never Know the Impact of your Actions

I want to share one of my favorite stories.

“One day, I saw Kyle, a freshman in my class, walking home from school, carrying all of his books.  I thought, 'He must really be a nerd.'

Then, I saw a bunch of kids knock all his books out of his arms and trip him so he landed in the dirt.  His glasses went flying.  My heart went out to him. I jogged over and I handed him his glasses.  I said, 'Those guys are jerks.'  He looked at me with a big smile and said, 'Hey thanks!'   It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books. As it turned out, he lived near me.  We talked all the way home, and he turned out to be a pretty cool kid.  We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and so did my friends.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.  He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.  He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.  He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. 

On graduation day, Kyle gave a speech as valedictorian of our class:
'Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends....  I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.  I am going to tell you a story.'

I looked at my friend with disbelief as he told about the first day we met.  He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.  He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.  He looked hard at me and gave me a smile.

'Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.'

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.  I saw his Mom and Dad smiling at me with that same grateful smile.

Never underestimate the power of your actions.  With one small gesture you can change a person's life, for better or for worse. God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way.

'Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.' 

Fred Cerrone

Monday, September 16, 2013

What Success Looks Like


Earlier this month, Hotel Equities announced a joint venture agreement had been signed with Alliance Hospitality, a well-respected and highly successful lodging company based in Raleigh, NC. As the Head Coach of the newly expanded Hotel Equities organization, I welcome the opportunity for growth as leaders from both firms come together as one to create a powerful hotel industry platform and a dynamic hospitality leadership team.
I am reminded of a quote by NBA coach Phil Jackson, who won 11 NBA titles while coaching the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.  “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
As we grow our organization and expand our platform, it is vitally important that we get this right … that we come to recognize that we need each other in order to reach our full potential. We each have gifts and talents that can be complimentary of one another. We should not feel threatened by the strengths of others, but should instead encourage, embrace and support them. We must trust each other to do the right thing, to look out after each other and to have each other’s back, for the sake of the team. 
As with most accomplishments of any significance, winning does not come easy. However, when great talents come together with a true desire and focus to accomplish extraordinary things, momentum and excitement occur and everyone wins in a huge way.
Our future success, in a sense, is our Championship, our Super Bowl or our World Series victory.
Lou Holtz, one of the most successful coaches in college football history once was asked  by a sports reporter if he considered his team lucky, since they had just completed a lengthy winning streak. His response was, in my opinion, profound. He said, “Sure I’ll agree that we have been lucky so long as you define luck as when preparedness meets opportunity”.
We have gathered the talent. We have a tremendous opportunity before us. Now, let’s make certain we are “lucky” enough to win.

Fred Cerrone

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Take this job and love it!

As the holiday weekend approached this past week, I looked forward to a brief but much needed getaway. Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most of us as the symbolic end of the summer and the beginning of the college football season.  We certainly need time away from our busy schedules, but in doing so our work deserves occasional thought and reflection.

Like most of us in this great business I found my calling in hospitality quite by accident. I took a job at the Sheraton Boston Hotel as I waited to ship out to Viet Nam while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. I found the work both challenging and fulfilling in ways that allowed me to interact with and serve others. I was fortunate to have a series of mentors who served as good examples and taught me the business. After 46 years I am happy to report that I am still passionate about the hotel business and continue to love my job.

One of my favorite things to do now is to share some of my real life work experiences as well as teach others about the history of the hotel business. I find great joy in teaching the “Foundations” class which is offered to new associates of Hotel Equities several times a year. I like to remind class participants that life is too short to be doing something that they don’t enjoy and even encourage them to leave if they can’t be passionate about their work.

In my opinion the true meaning of success is to find something that you enjoy doing and then find someone willing to pay you for doing it. 

Fred Cerrone



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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