The Layover: Q&A with Sarah

A day one employee, style maven, and all around powerhouse, My Place Hotels SVP of Brand Management Sarah Dinger is best known as the heartfelt and hardworking leader who helped launch My Place Hotels. While her schedule is more packed than she lets on, Sarah found time to catch up with us as we explored the ins-and-outs of her time at HQ, what fuels her daily, and why giving up is never an option in the latest installment of The Layover!

Sarah, you’ve been with My Place Hotels since day one. What is your daily fuel?

Simple. I love what I do. I don’t take for granted how important it is that we come to work and give our best every day to ensure that our franchisees have the best experience possible. Our franchisees have so many choices when it come to selecting a brand for their hotels; and, in my opinion, what ultimately makes My Place the ultimate choice is that we create unique relationships with every single one of them.

What have you picked up from Ron over the years?

Like most would imagine, exposure to Ron means exposure to invaluable insights, which have really formed my approach to each day at HQ. The core principles I’ve picked up are:

  • It’s all about the people,
  • Do what you love
  • Approach each decision with the mindset of an owner

When was the last time you thought about giving up on something? What stopped you from giving up?

I think we are all faced with decisions like this every day. I don’t think there is anything wrong with pushing something aside, re-framing, and then picking it back up with a better mindset.

You’re always smiling when we see you around the office. How do you remain so positive, day-in and day-out?

Generally, I am a positive person… and on days when I’m not, I smile anyway. Besides, we learned a long time ago that it takes more muscle movements to frown than it does to smile. Plus, smiling is contagious!

You are regarded as a style icon, what is your favorite item of clothing you own? Any secrets?

I am not sure who decided I was a fashion icon, but I can assure you that that is not the case. It has to be comfortable and, preferably, have pockets. Those are the two standards I have when it comes to fashion!

Sarah is clearly a fashion icon, even if she doesn’t want to admit it!

The year is 2025 and My Place Hotels is the most popular hotel chain in the world. Why is that?

Because we as a franchise company have invested 100% of ourselves into creating the best relationships with our franchisees.

What is the most memorable gift you have ever received? Why was it so memorable?

My children. Watching them grow, learn, and enjoy the life and memories we are making together is a daily reminder of how simple and enjoyable life really should be.

What is your favorite season and why?

Summer. Is there anything better than warm sunshine?

If you could time travel, what period of time would you travel to?

Professionally, I would travel to 1973, so I could see the parallels and differences in how the Super 8 franchise was started and bring those experiences forward to the present.

Personally, I would travel back to 1980, the year I was born, because I have lost some special people in my life over that time and I would love to be able to see them and spend more time with them again.

Check out this awesome article about Sarah that was featured as a part of the Aberdeen American News’ “Square Deal”

Describe your job in 10 words or less:

Every day = a new opportunity + a new set of challenges.

You’re unshakeable. What’s your approach to challenges?

I embrace the challenges. Challenges are what keeps the job interesting and most rewarding.

What is the most rewarding moment you have had, so far, at My Place HQ?

We’ve celebrated a lot of successes collectively. However, personally, my most rewarding moments were being honored as one of Hotel Management’s 2018 Most Influential Women in Hospitality and having the opportunity to sit on their Women in Hospitality Executive Roundtable discussion sponsored by the Wall Street Journal!

Have you ever had a paranormal experience?

I can’t say I have, but I wouldn’t call you a liar if you told me you have.

What is your Zodiac sign? What positive attributes speak to you?Sagittarius!

  • Hospitable – welcoming and makes others feel like they belong
  • Honest – sometimes to a fault
  • Dreams big and is able to focus on making them reality
  • Works hard to accomplish the end goal.

If you could open a My Place anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Not to sound too cliche, but there are so many places that I could say, which makes it really difficult to narrow it down to one. Having said that, I would say San Diego. I have a great friend that provided me with the opportunity to visit San Diego early on in my professional career. I fell in love with the city and have since been back to visit a few more times!

#MyPlaceCon 2019 was pretty much a match made in heaven for Sarah as it was held in San Diego!

What is the best meal you have ever had in your life?

We had the most amazing dinner at a restaurant called Aqua, a seafood place that sits right on the shore of Puget Sound in Seattle. If you ever find yourself in downtown Seattle, seriously do yourself a favor and try this place! The scallops were top notch and the atmosphere was most enjoyable!