Anyone can run a hotel.
But not everyone can do it well.
Hotel Manager Laurie Baumgartner is running Cannery Casino Hotel so well, the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association (NHLA) named her Management Professional of the Year in its seventh annual competition.
Baumgartner has been with Cannery for 15 years, 10 as the hotel manager. When her supervisor was reassigned to The Orleans, she had the opportunity to take on several additional responsibilities.
“Laurie took over and didn’t miss a beat. In fact, she excelled,” said Cannery Casino Hotel Assistant General Manager Brenda Temple, who nominated Baumgartner for the award. Baumgartner oversees the front desk, housekeeping, casino porters, valet, hotel sales, uniforms and retail. “Everything you could want from an individual to run a division of your company, she is it.”
Baumgartner was “shocked” to have surpassed the other eight nominees in a category that included diverse management responsibilities, such as assistant general manager, food and beverage director, controller and pit manager. The NHLA voting committee recognized Baumgartner’s outstanding achievements at its recent Stars of Industry Hospitality Awards Gala.
“I felt so appreciated, honored and humbled,” said Baumgartner. “I was delighted to be acknowledged for the work I do and so proud to work for Boyd Gaming.”
Baumgartner shared what she believes are her strengths: “I always try to be professional, which, in today’s world and society, is not always easy. I work smarter, not harder, and I have fun. I am always positive and I don’t fuel negativity.” She said she has a knack for “reading people” whether they are guests or employees and adjusts behavior and reactions accordingly.
Her single best accomplishment on the job? – the one that “blew her mind?” Effectively taking over during the transition of her former manager. “Being able to step in and know that I could do the job, do it well and overcome the challenges with grace,” said Baumgartner, “gave me the confidence I didn’t have before.”
For her achievement, Baumgartner received a certificate and engraved Plexiglas award during the award ceremony.
“Laurie is committed to developing her team, to focus on the guest experience and to deliver to our customers. She operates her department with integrity,” said Temple. “She is a superstar.”