Kelly Harrill, general manager of the Grandover Resort & Spa in Greensboro. The Greensboro native and Guilford College graduate has worked for 23 years in the hospitality industry. Harrill joined real-estate company Koury Corp. as the Grandover Resort was being built in 1998 and has overseen sales and marketing for its sister property, the Sheraton Greensboro/Koury Convention Center. He has helped attract national conventions, sports groups and citywide events to the area, including some of the largest faith-based groups in the U.S. Most recently, he was part of a Greensboro delegation that successfully won the bid for the World Championship in Irish Dancing, to be held in the spring.
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What do you like best about your job?
The people. In the hospitality business we are afforded the opportunity to work with so many different organizations and people from every walk of life. Today it is a national association, tomorrow it is a Division 1 basketball team, and the weekend has wedding group. And by the way, the Eagles are staying with you. Combine that with our amazing internationally represented employees and some days you feel like you work at the United Nations. Our team sees this as an amazing opportunity to lift up our guests and each other with a smile, a genuine conversation and fulfilling our mission statement of providing first-class accommodations.
What inspires you?
People that are using their God-given gifts to lift up those around them. I am not personally inspired by titles or egos, but I am inspired by the person in the serving line at the K&W Cafeteria that makes everyone smile and laugh. I draw inspiration from people who can make a difference in the lives of others and expect nothing in return. Those people are all around us quietly making a difference; I try to get to know those people.
Who should we be paying attention to?
Leaders in our community who are combining their careers with their passion for the betterment of our society. In the world we find ourselves in today, our leaders should be, regardless of their career path, modeling a style that allows and encourages others to succeed around them. Plato and Socrates understood that our teachers should the superheroes of the world, and I agree.
What was your biggest challenge this week?
The same as it was last week, and the week before, staying present and balancing life. The resort is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so there is a tendency to feel like you are working even when not on-property. I trust in our managers and team members to make good decisions, and they do. The balance of family, faith and career is something I am conscious of with every waking moment and will be a lifelong exercise.
Favorite N.C. vacation spot?
Anywhere that has a fish, and that is just about the whole state. My absolute getaway is anywhere I can wet a line. I have fished from one end of the state to the other for every species we have, and wherever I am at that moment is my favorite spot. A bull red drum trip with Capt. George Beckwith out of Oriental might be at the top of the heap.