Their outstanding service and around-the-clock-hospitality skills during the recent visit by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen brought the Marshall Islands Resort team the highest of honor from the Office of the President.
A March 28 letter from President Hilda Heine was a clear “pat on the back” to the management and 128 employees of the resort.President Heine has been vocal about the need to improve customer service and MIR executed just that, especially during the farewell state dinner in honor of President Tsai.
MIR General Manager Hirobo Obeketang considers the presidential praise a huge motivation and said the resort needs to do more.Hirobo gave credit to previous administrators of Outrigger and Pacific International Inc. and the late long-time MIR General Manager Bill Weza for contributing to the success.
“Our founding father once said tourism is not just about bringing people in, it is also about training our people in the trade,” Hirobo told the Journal.
“We’ve had the advantage of learning first hand from seven years under Outrigger management team. So in reality, Trudy deBrum, who has been in the resort since day one, has a master’s degree in hospitality,” Hirobo stated.MIR was already engaged with the Pacific Partnership when President Tsai and other Pacific guests flooded the resort, but that did not deter the team from delivering first class service.
“Not many notice but our team is 100 percent Marshallese,” Obeketang said. “We had people asking multiple times who is our chef and were surprised when they found out they are locals. I am not trying to sound negative but we are proud to say our team was full-on local during the state dinner reception.”
The Pacific Asia Travel Association Micronesia Chapter also provided good ratings to MIR following their weeklong forum last week, considered the biggest in PATA turnout history.
Last month, Public Accounts Committee members wanted to know how MIR got to its current successful status. The answer is simple: “Management,” said Obeketang. “Everyone in our management team can perform all tasks within the hotel. I can use the broom to sweep the floors and Trudy can use rags and wipe around the edges. The real meaning of management is being able to perform all tasks.”
Read more about this in the April 12, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.