If you’ve ever had the opportunity to call My Place Hotels HQ, chances are you’ve been greeted by one of the warmest voices we know and ended the call with a smile on your face. Whether it’s her ability to make every guest feel heard or the hard work she puts forth in everything she does, My Place Hotels Brand Loyalty Administrative Assistant Cheryl Graf is a remarkable individual who helps our guests every day. Catch up with Cheryl in the latest installment of The Layover!
Cheryl, it is known far and wide that you wear many hats at My Place HQ! What is typical day in the office like for you?
The first thing I do in the morning is go through my Guest Relations and Stay Rewarded® emails and voicemails. I then send out a daily report to hotels with the number of guests they enrolled in Stay Rewarded® the day prior. The rest of my day is spent answering phone calls, researching members’ Stay Rewarded® accounts, and working on whatever project Irene has in store for me that day!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Being the go-to person for Guest Relations & Stay Rewarded® questions!
What is it like balancing a full-time job at HQ and being a part-time online student?
It definitely keeps me busy, but is generally not too bad. This is my last semester so I only have 2 classes.
What is your favorite type of animal and why?
I absolutely love cats. They’re smart, adorable, cuddly, often times hilarious, and their purrs are so soothing!
We heard that you are quite involved in the Aberdeen community. What organizations are you a part of around town?
I’m a part of 3 non-profit organizations within the Aberdeen community. I have been involved with the Make-A-Wish foundation for the last 12 years. I have been on the committee for Relay for Life for the last 2 years and have been with the A-Town Roller Girlz for the past year.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
To never let anyone tell me I’m not good enough to do something.
What is the most common Stay Rewarded® question that you get asked when answering the phones?
“How do I activate my account?”
We hear you on the phone talking to guests, team members, and everybody else in between all day long and you’re always so positive and thoughtful. How do you stay so positive and uniquely you in all the right ways, even when you receive calls from people who aren’t so cheerful?
If a guest calls upset, I just remember they are upset with their situation and not with me. I’m here to help them and want to portray that message to them. I want guests to feel a sense of relief after contacting me, not feel that their concerns are going to be ignored.
What is your favorite way to spend a quiet weekend?
In the Twin Cities, going to a Twins or Wild game.
If you could switch jobs with anyone at My Place HQ Team Member for a day who would it be and why?
It would be a toss-up between Lanie & Tabitha. I have experience with group sales in the hospitality industry, so it would be interesting to compare my experience to what a day is like for Lanie. I would also really to see what goes on behind the scenes when preparing for a hotel to open so I would love to see what a day is like for Tab!
If you could go on a trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would love to go to Italy to experience their art, culture, history, scenery and of course, Italian cuisine.
If you could only listen to three songs for the rest of your life, what would they be?
In two sentences, can you explain why everybody should be a Stay Rewarded® member?
The perks are fantastic. Perks include: earning 10 points for every $1.00 spent, receiving a complimentary bottle of water at check-in, early check-in and late check-out based on hotel availability and the ability to redeem your Stay Rewarded® points for shopping, dining or pre-paid Visa eGift cards.
What was your first impression of Irene and what’s your relationship with her like, now that you’re her right-hand gal in the Brand Loyalty Department?!
I actually met Irene prior to working at My Place. My first impression of her was that she’s one of the sweetest and most caring people I have ever met. It’s a pleasure getting to work with her every day. She has an extensive background in Loyalty so we are always throwing out ideas to one another and asking each other questions. We both enjoy helping others and share a common goal of growing Stay Rewarded®!
Cheryl and Irene make an AMAZING team together in Guest Relations!
Have you ever wished on a shooting star and had your wish come true?
I have not wished upon a shooting star!
Rumor has it you’re training to be the next roller derby legend! What inspired you to pursue getting involved with roller derby?
I grew up skating, so the first time I went to a Bout, I immediately knew I wanted to try it.
What are your go-to ice cream toppings?
I can’t eat plain ice cream with toppings just on the top anymore. I need my toppings mixed in. Chocolate chip cookie dough blizzards from Dairy Queen are the way to go.
What is it like to have an impact on the lives of global travelers, simply by answering the phone at HQ?
It’s a great feeling knowing I’m able to help others. Guests are often times relieved when they find out they are speaking to a live person instead of an automated machine.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
An answer on the TV show “America Says.”