Career & Education

Felecia Allen-Myers' rise from intern to group butler manager at SRI

She’s the man!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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Thirteen years ago Felicia Allen-Myers was an intern at Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa. She was pursuing studies in hospitality and tourism management at Knox Community College and was happy to receive exposure and experience in her chosen field. Little did she know that in a few years, she would not only be permanently employed to the luxury-included resort chain, but would eventually come to lead the company's acclaimed team of butlers across the region.

According to Allen-Myers, “My hospitality journey started with Sandals in June 2003. As an intern, I was exposed to all areas related to my major: food and beverage. After completing an extensive internship programme, I was offered a summer job in the weddings department.”

Not long after, Allen-Myers was offered a permanent position as a receptionist at Sandals Negril. Her next move would be the one which, according to her, accelerated her career development and set her on the path to her current position.

“In 2004, one of the greatest opportunities was bequeathed to me. I was hand-picked by Gwen Demercado to be trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers and was later successful after an intense six-week training programme in the Bahamas,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

The transition from receptionist to butler came naturally to Allen, as making others happy through service is what she enjoys most.

“Being a butler means putting someone else's needs before your own and having a true passion for people, which was quite effortless for me,” she remarked.

Allen-Myers worked as a butler, providing individual and personalised services for guests for three years. During that time, she was promoted to head butler, which saw her leading a team of 14 butlers at the resort, before being further promoted to the post of regional butler manager for Negril and Whitehouse regions in 2007.

Her biggest career milestone came in 2010 when she was promoted to her current post — group butler manager. In this capacity, Allen-Myers is responsible for directing, evaluating, planning, creating and implementing standard operating procedures, providing updates on training and development programmes and audits as well as being attuned to, and responding to the needs of the butler departments throughout the entire Sandals and Beaches chain.

For Allen-Mers, the best part of the job is the opportunity to teach others.

“I enjoy training and imparting all the knowledge and skills needed to make someone an ultimate butler and stepping back and seeing those persons evolve into true professionals delivering unwavering service,” she told Career & Education.

And while she loves her job and its many rewards, she admits it is not without its challenges. These, however, she uses as motivation.

“In every role there are challenges,” she said. Without them, the job would be futile. I utilise the challenges I face to create opportunities and innovation.”

Another challenge she faces, Allen-Myers says, is finding the balance between work and family life.

“There's no such thing as a perfect balance, so I don't add pressure to my life by trying to meet unrealistic goals. I recognise that you can only give so much, and I have always maintained a consistent family schedule that allows us to spend quality time together, which works very well,” said the wife and mother.

As she approaching her 14th year with Sandals, Allen-Myers has great expectations for the future.

“I look forward to further leveraging my expertise in butler service within Sandals and hone other relevant skills to improve my personal brand,” she said. And for those eyeing a career in the hospitality industry, she advises them to be “patient, teachable, humble, grateful and mouldable as you enter positions of authority and as you are given responsibility”.

She added, “Don't fail to learn all you can from those who went before you, or to grow from your mistakes. Expect to work hard to achieve the things you want from life and realise things may not always be as you would want them to be. There are a few stories of people who stumbled into instant success, but those are rare.”

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