Taking 10 with...Patrick Huey

Taking 10 with...Patrick Huey

Sunday 7th October 2018

By Michelle Hammond

Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards business?

My mother was great because whatever I endeavoured to do, she supported. So I felt like I could accomplish and do anything that I imagined. I was also fairly self-motivated to perform well in school, to be engaged in lots of activities (soccer, symphonic band, piano and saxophone lessons, performing in plays) – so I never could sit still; I liked to be on the go, and I was an avid reader (which improves your vocabulary, writing skills, critical thinking). Finally, my parents were not micro-managers. I had a lot of autonomy and agency in my life– the rule was that I could make my own decisions until I started making bad ones. Needless to say, I tried to make the best decisions as often as possible because I have never been great at people telling me what to do.

Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?

There is no separation between ethical business practises and strong financial
performance. In our current environment we have accepted a lack of principles and
values as acceptable if we see financial success. I view this approach to be short-sighted.
The best companies that I have worked for, of which Montage is a shining example, is
that you can have high performance reinforced by and attributed to ethical business
practices and by doing what is right and good in the market.

Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?

When I moved to New York in 1992, I took a job as a bellman at Royalton Hotel which at that time was still run directly by Ian Schrager. I spent nearly five years at various hotels and positions in his company with no intention of ever working in spa. Those five years gave me a solid foundation in hospitality (rooms, food & beverage, guest services) which allowed me to branch out into the spa industry rather easily. It was a smart business decision to take that seemingly entry level position with Royalton, but it was not an intentional business move. The lesson for me is that you never know what today’s decisions and efforts will yield. It is incumbent upon you to always perform at your best in every circumstance, because results and opportunities are cumulative and unknown.

Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?

Sheri Claflin, who is currently a recruiter for Hutchinson Consulting and Annie
McCullough who is currently the VP of Sales for Spa Ritual. Sheri taught me the spa
business from an operational perspective. Annie taught me the business from a product, numbers perspective. They both remain close friends and career advisors.

Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?

My most difficult business decision was leaving Four Seasons Westlake Village as the
Assistant Spa Director to assume the Spa Director position at Four Seasons Las Vegas. It was difficult because I was part of the opening team at FSWLV. We handpicked each therapist and attendant and receptionist. It felt like family, and my life was firmly established in Los Angeles. I had a choice to stay, but I knew from a career perspective that taking the lead role in Las Vegas was the right move, even if it wasn’t the ideal time, city etc. The lesson is that the offer that comes our way does not always come at the time we are expecting it or in the exact location that we are expecting it to come. Often times, the opportunity moves us out of our comfort zone. That moving out of one’s comfort zone is called growth.

Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?

Flexibility.

Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?

I get insomnia.

Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?

I play tennis as often as I can, and I love hiking. I also have to say that going to the gym and lifting weights can be a bit boring, but it has helped to improve my physical
appearance as well as make me feel stronger. I try to go to church on Sundays. I find this spiritual practice to be very centering especially given the uncertainty and freneticism of the world we are currently living in. Lastly, I try to be conscious about what I eat, when I eat and how much I am eating.

Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?

We need to see more diversity within the ranks of our industry, particularly within
leadership roles. Where are the spa leaders who are people of color?

Q10 - Finally, What’s your favorite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

When I was working in Asia, I focused on building integrated wellness programs for one of our properties in Sri Lanka. I was fortunate to spend a great deal of time with one of our Auyrvedic doctors by the name of Dr. Sampath discussing health and wellness through the perspective of Buddhism. And he said something to me that I found quite profound. I actually wrote it down. He said to me, “The final idea of happiness is to balance your body and to free your mind. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility for yourself. If you don’t do your part, you can drink the medicine forever and never get well. We (referring to the people executing the wellness programs) are not doing anything to you. You have to do it to yourself. We will just show you a path. You decide the outcome. You do good things; you get good things. You do bad things; you get bad things.”

FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION

1.What’s your favorite book?

To Kill A Mockingbird. I actually have a rare autographed copy from Harper Lee.

2.What’s your favorite film of all time?

The Color Purple and The Devil Wears Prada

3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why? 

Barack and Michelle Obama.

4. You get taken to your favorite place to be, where are you taken?

Mexico City or the Bamboo Jazz Bar in the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

5. Your perfect dinner is?

Anything my mom cooks

6. Your go to drink is?

Prosecco

7. Your favorite sweet treat is?

Vanilla Cake or Chocolate Cake with ice cream.

8. What is your favorite essential oil/scent?

Jasmine

9. You go for a treatment – what do you have and why?

The Jewel of Baja at Montage Los Cabos is one of the most amazing four handed treatment experiences I have received.

10. What is your favorite flower?

Calla Lilies or Orchids

11. You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?

I go on a very long, strenuous hike, or play a couple of hours of tennis and that will usually make me sleep deeply.

12. You want to energise fast, what do you do?

Hop on the elliptical

13. The theme tune to your life is?

“Oh! Look at Me Now” sung by Nancy Wilson

14. What makes you laugh to your belly?

The Golden Girls reruns

15. What’s your favorite season?

Autumn

16. What’s your favourite color?

Blue

17. Your favourite time of day is?

Early morning right before the sun comes up.

18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what/who would you be?

I would have been a television news anchor/reporter.

19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?

Grownish

20. Magic dust – you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?

I’ve always wanted to be able to fly. Like a bird.

Patrick Huey is currently the Corporate Director, Spa Operations for Montage International. In this role, Patrick is responsible for working in partnership with our property spa leadership and corporate department disciplines to deliver high quality, high margin spa offerings that delight guests and meet financial projections while delivering brand experiences for Montage and Pendry.

With over 15 years of experience in the health, wellness and spa industries, Patrick joins Montage from his most recent position as Group Director of Spas – Asia for MSpa at Minor Hotels International. With more than 40 operational spas, Patrick was responsible for establishing and implementing the business strategy for the Asian Spa Division in conjunction with the Chairman, CEO and SVP of Operations.

Prior to his role as Group Director of Spas, Patrick served as the Corporate Director of Spa, Fitness and Tennis for Sandals Resorts International with 23 operational spas and fitness centers where he launched the Red Lane Spa and Fitness brands. Before that, Patrick was the Corporate Spa Director for Viceroy Hotel Group where he successfully launched the spa and fitness brand overseeing the US, Caribbean, Mexico and the Middle East.

Patrick holds a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in Acting and a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University in Creative/Non-fiction Writing, English Literature and Theatre. Patrick currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Spa Association. 

Instagram: lamonte71

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