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MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 2016
Penny Neff is pleased to introduce:
The Five Star Management Team is accepting homeowner clients and vacation rental properties for booking...........
President and Owner
Penny Neff began her hotel career at the age of 19 as a Guest Service Representative at a large convention hotel in Texas. The hotel business captured her heart quickly and she changed her college major from music to hotel management. Over the last four decades, she has earned an award winning track record using her results oriented style that gets the job done in every economy. Whether, she was traveling Europe introducing Travel Agents to a Houston Luxury boutique hotel, or traveling the Middle East as an Army contractor, she is committed to excellence with a keen eye for attention to detail and doing it all with a heart to serve.
Ms. Neff’s experience combines years of hotel and condominium leadership serving as a General Manager, Director of Operations, Vice President of a national Houston based hotel Management Company and leading/motivating a national hotel team as the National Director of Sales with over 300 Sales managers to coach. In the 80’s, as the Regional Director of Sales/Marketing for John Q Hammons hotels, she led her team to be one of the TOP TWENTY franchise Hotels in the world for two consecutive years! Revenue increases over the previous year were a major factor in winning the world wide award for the second year.
Neff has always accepted every hotel challenge her career has given her and that variety in the business has given her rare opportunities to serve with the most elite in the world. That variety has allowed her to work with 2 Presidential staffs by coordinating Secret Service visits for foreign dignitaries, a European prime minister and the President’s very own HMX-1 MARINE ONE, Executive Flight Detachment.
Even with a busy schedule, she continued to maintain a love and passion for music and kept one foot in the music community. During her tenure as a hotel executive in Dallas, she wrote commercial jingles on the side and began writing theme songs for charities. In August 1997, the world renown and most awarded parachute team in the world, The Elite and legendary Golden Knights at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, asked her to write a theme song for President George H. Bush as he celebrated his 80th birthday with a legendary free fall jump with the Golden Knights.
Ms. Neff has always believed that building relationships is one of the most powerful and important aspects of doing business which ultimately leads to success. During her years leading hotels in Dallas, Texas in 1982, she served as the Celebrity Chairperson for Dallas Cowboy football player D.D. Lewis, as he began his yearly Celebrity Golf Tournament with proceeds going to charity. It was that football connection and knowledge of football, that landed her in the office of oil tycoon and NFL owner legend, K. S. ”Bud” Adams, Jr. owner of the then Houston Oilers NFL Football team. She was also his Vice President of Kenada Farms, another Adams family interest. Working so many years in the hotel business was the key to being able to keep up with Mr. Adams and his vast array of companies and interests. Working for Mr. Adams for five seasons, gave her real behind the scenes knowledge of building teams, the importance of having an insightful coach, world class negotiating, and working for the best of the best. Working for Mr. Adams, Neff really grasped the importance of keeping confidential information to herself and how important trust was in working with high profile people, celebrities and their families. To this day, she still maintains a private and low profile life style.
And, if the NFL wasn’t exciting enough, Neff is the President and Founder of Four Star Soldier Fellowship. She has been serving and supporting our warriors and their families since August 1990. As a woman, she has earned unprecedented access, credibility and acceptance from the male dominated Special Operations and Special Forces Communities. As much as she likes to stay below the radar, the units she has supported behind the scenes have publicly recognized her work. She has worked with Special Operations Chaplains since December 1997 beginning in Fort Benning, Georgia. She was inducted into the 75 th Ranger Regiment as an Honorary Member in July 2000. That same line of service and integrity opened the doors for her to serve as an Army contractor with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) and the legacy rich 502 Strike Teams in 2003 and 2004. Upon returning from Iraq, in May 2004, Ms. Neff was honored as being a Distinguished and Honorary Member of the 502nd Strike Teams at a ceremony in Fort Campbell, Kentucky; solidifying her moniker as Strike Sis.
January 2009, The 75th Ranger Regiment honored her work once again, by nominating her as a Heroine of the Infantry and was awarded the Order of St Maurice, Shield of Sparta.
Ms. Neff has served with the nation’s leading Army Officers who gave her first hand mentoring; learning with boots on the ground how to lead under fire, both in combat theatre and in business.
Neff explains that leadership has the same principles wherever you serve. She says that in order to be successful, you must lead from the front.
Arriving in Rockport as a consulting General Manager for the Laguna Reef Condominiums, she led the property to earn the much sought after “Rockport Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year “ in less than 20 months after taking the helm. What started as a short term consulting gig, introduced her to Rockport, Texas, and Neff says, ” I fell in love with Rockport’s easy going relaxing style and charm. I knew it was the place I wanted to retire and spend the rest of my life.”
Neff says that she has been blessed to have had a long and fruitful hotel and resort career, because the hotel business teaches four important elements of success, that are transferable to any other industry.
One, is that you have to have a service minded team to deliver consistent high levels of service. Every single guest should be treated like a VIP. There is no substitute for honest and sincere caring for one’s vacation, business trip, or family stay. While it is great to find a team member with experience, if the heart beat to serve isn’t there, that person will not fit into our team culture. Neff says that she would rather hire for the heart power and train them for the skill, than have experience and no heart to serve!
Two, attention to detail in the sales and marketing efforts are vital to revenue success. And that attention means total focus on revenue, studying trends and making proactive decisions. If you are going to be successful, you have to have the courage to make the tough decisions.
When a team watches a leader being faithful in the small attention to details, they know that the larger opportunities will have the same commitment to the details.
Third, a leader must be a coach that can communicate to the team what the mission is. Working around football coaches taught me that the coach really does make the difference.
You have to build a team based on the team members’ personality and skill set talents.
That experience surfaced again while working with combat field commanders in Iraq. An effective leader must lead from the front. No excuses. If you don’t lead, then your strongest team member will lead for you.
Fourth, if you are going to be in business, don’t apologize for wanting to make a profit. When you offer a superb product, take care of the customer, client or guest, they will pay top dollar for that. The only way you can keep a top rated service minded team is to pay them well and give them incentives for superior service. In our vacation rental business, we have to honor our stewardship responsibility to turn a profit for our homeowners for their vacation investment.
“Bottom line, you have to have a foundation of having a service minded team that truly cares, or the formula doesn’t work”, Neff says. Revenue without customer service can’t last long until the revenue begins slipping away.
Penny Neff is excited to introduce FIVE STAR VACATION RENTALS, Inc. to Rockport and the surrounding area. If you want the best to take care of your homeowner assets, we are the team to do it. We will make a difference for you!