BE Modern Man: Meet "Mr. Hospitality" Luis Partridge
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Name: Luis Partridge

Age: 34

Profession: Senior Manager, Hilton HHonors Loyalty & Partnerships (Customer Loyalty & Marketing)

One Word That Describes You: Tenacity

What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?

It’s an honor to be recognized as a BE Modern Man and to be linked to such diversely talented and brilliant individuals. As a marketer, trying to define the modern person is my daily life. The world is changing constantly and how we define ourselves and our relationship with each other is such a profound thing. I’m thrilled to be a part of BEMM 2016!

What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?

Early on in my career, when I was with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., I went through a pretty stressful incident that turned out to be a huge turning point professionally. I was 26 years old and managing a 350 room luxury hotel along with 30+ employees. One day, when the hotel was full and corporate executives in-house, the fire alarm was triggered. You can train all you want, but the chaos that accompanies an emergency situation is jarring and it clouds your judgment. Thank God no one was hurt, but I definitely could’ve managed the situation better, specifically how we communicated with all of the guests. Some people walked down 30 flights of stairs with their suitcases—those conversations were not fun.

What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?

I read an article about this topic recently and it had a pretty big impact on how I now approach relationships. Borrowing from the author, Amy Cuddy, there are two things that I look for when first meeting someone, whether at work or in a social situation—is the person warm and are they competent? To determine whether someone exhibits competency, you might ask: does this person have the humility, natural curiosity, and maturity to understand diverse points of view. Of the two, kindness is probably the most important thing to me. I like to think you can learn self-awareness, but I’m pretty sure a jerk’s a jerk for life.

What are some immediate projects you are working on?

In my role, I’m a connector. The job requires that I constantly create and nurture relationships with all of our internal partners in a way that strengthens how HHonors is positioned within the broader portfolio of Hilton’s 13 brands. It’s a brand new role so a lot of what I’ve been involved with over the last six months is designing the role and creating swim lanes. I find that type of work incredibly engaging and fun. I’m learning new things on a daily basis and have the flexibility to think creatively and create new modes of thinking. It’s an exciting time to be at Hilton especially considering the macro events going on around us—Airbnb has been a total disruptor in the hospitality space and is redefining what it means to travel; a new generation of travelers are entering the market and they have entirely different tastes and preferences from their parents.

What is the best advice you ever received?

Be kind; do good work.

What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?

Have the courage of your convictions and don’t be afraid to fail. Be constantly growing, learning, and challenging yourself. If you do these things, the change you want to affect will fall into place.

How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?

If I’m presenting, I over-prepare. I need to study the audience and the materials. Otherwise, my mind becomes preoccupied with minutiae during the meeting, and I’m not able to focus on engaging the audience and communicating the nuances of the talking points. Occasionally, if it’s a crazy important meeting, I’ll step into the stairwell and have 5-10 minutes of pure silence, not thinking about anything.

Oh yeah, I also avoid caffeine. I’m an expressive person, and caffeine intensifies that trait. Too much expressiveness in a business meeting can distract from your message.

As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?

When it comes to vacations, I’m a simple guy and don’t need much to unwind. Give me a cigar, warm weather, sun, and reggae music and we’re good to go. For my most recent vacation, I was to Long Beach Island in New Jersey. My folks rented a house on the water and invited all of the kids with their families. It was a full house with toddlers running around. Crazy but fun!

If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? 

I’m obsessed with Southeast Asian food. If I was given a blank check and told to plan my ideal vacation, it would be a tour of countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. Not only does that part of the world have some of the best beaches on earth, but my head would explode from the deliciousness.

 Anything else you’d like to say?

Shameless plug…sign up for HHonors at HHonors.com and get free Wi-Fi and the lowest price guaranteed when you book with Hilton.

It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.

 

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