The Layover: Q&A with Irene

With an endless list of accomplishments marked by years of hard work, love, loyalty, and a passion for our guests and all of the work she has done in the hospitality industry, My Place Hotels Director of Brand Loyalty Irene Roberts is a powerhouse to be reckoned with in all the right ways. In the latest installment of The Layover, we cover all things Stay Rewarded®, staying motivated, and even discover the moment Irene made My Place her place.

You’ve been quite a busy gal over the past several months! How does it feel to have seen all of your hard work come to fruition with the phenomenal launch of Stay Rewarded?

It is beyond words. So many people at My Place have been working toward this goal longer than I have and along with their help, we have finally launched Stay Rewarded. I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished so far and can’t wait to see how the program (my baby) grows in the very near future!

If you could only give our guests one (1) reason as to why they should enroll in Stay Rewarded, what would it be?

If I could only give our guests one reason as to why they should Stay Rewarded, I would tell them that entire loyalty program itself is a thank you to them for choosing us and is our way of showing our appreciation for that loyalty.

What is the importance and value of brand loyalty for a brand like My Place Hotels in this day and age?

With such a wide variety of lodging options available, the average guest has so many different options to choose from when looking for a place to stay. By working to build brand loyalty in every connection you make with your guests, you can really stand out among the sea of options as the right place to stay. In everything we’re working to do in Brand Loyalty, we’re working to make sure that we are the brand that stands out among the others and show our appreciation for being the option our guests choose.

What has been the most influential moment for you, so far, at My Place?

It’s quite difficult to choose just one, but I think the first time I was invited to meet with a potential franchisee was very influential for me. Seeing that the leadership team wanted our potential franchisees to meet with every functioning gear of the brand really put the fact that we were one big team into perspective for me and that our team is here for our owners.

Irene’s expertise in all things loyalty found its roots in the late 1980’s when she helped grow Super 8’s loyalty program to one of the most successful loyalty programs in the world. Her passion for loyalty hasn’t dwindled since.

As a seasoned professional in the hospitality industry with numerous accomplishments under your belt, how do you find the motivation to continue learning and diversifying your knowledge beyond the substantial amount you already have? (What keeps you going?)

At the core of it all, I really just enjoy what I do. The hospitality industry is constantly changing and that’s something that really keeps me going. There is always something new to learn coming at you from every direction you look.

When did you recognize that My Place was your place?

Honestly, I felt like My Place was my place from the moment I was interviewing for my job. Everything that Ryan and Matt talked about when they were describing their vision for a loyalty program and their vision for our brand felt like coming home for me. It just felt right to me.

The fun never stops in the office with Irene around!

What is the most important life lesson you have ever learned?

Work hard and surround yourself with good people. Good people make hard work fun.

Where do you see My Place Hotels 10 years from now?

10 years from now, I see My Place making an impact across all 50 states with a growing international presence. To top it off, Stay Rewarded will continue to be a pivotal piece of our growth.

What was the first thing to make you smile today?

On a day like today (it’s a Sunday), what’s not to love? Coffee and the paper! Today it was hearing my grandson in the backyard and hearing his feet run up on the deck, suddenly stopping in the house to tell me he was here. It as a quick hello because he ran right back outside, but easily put a smile on my face.

If you could pick one dream location for the next #MyPlaceCon, where would it be?

The location of the next #MyPlaceCon isn’t the most important part to me, it’s making sure that our managers and franchisees are there and that we come together as a team to learn and celebrate our accomplishments alongside one another. BUT, if I had to pick somewhere, I would definitely vote for a hub in the Midwest such as Chicago, Minneapolis, or even Denver!

With Stay Rewarded’s official launch in the rear-view mirror, what can we expect to see from the program and the Brand Loyalty department as a whole in the near future?

The fun is just getting started! We can’t wait to start gathering feedback from our guests and hotels to identify how we can continue to make the program even better for them. As Stay Rewarded grows, so will our Brand Loyalty Department, so keep a watchful eye out for even more greatness from us in the future.

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