Staff Profile: Jeannette Garcia
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July 30th, 1999, was Jeannette Garcia’s first day of work at the Wickaninnish Inn. Hired by Charles McDiarmid and Melody McLorie as a Guest Services Representative during the Inn’s early days, Jeannette was not yet the Front Office Manager she is today. After two and half years, Jeannette became a Guest Service Supervisor, honing her passion for service and standards and focusing on each element of the guest’s experience with care and attention that has come to define her professional approach. Remembering those early days, Jeannette says, “I thought I knew everything about hospitality, to begin with, but since working here, I have truly come to learn more every day about the spirit of hospitality in an environment that is so committed to the highest level of service.”
Becoming the Front Office Manager in September 2010, Jeannette has guided the department to what it is today. She has developed each element of the Inn’s world-renowned warm welcome, as well as the spirit of generosity during each day of our guest’s stays. Seeing how these elements impact our visitors' and guests' minds, bodies, and spirits still brings her deep daily fulfillment.
While guest service has been her focus for over 20 years at the Wickaninnish Inn, looking back at her legacy, Jeannette says she is most proud of the individuals she has helped to lead. Remembering a team member that worked with her for many years, Jeannette recalls the moment when she saw an opportunity to “turn her around by building on her gifts when she wasn’t using all of them to her full potential" and way that made this bright young hospitality professional shine and flourish. Working with that team member and helping her cultivate her strengths at the right moment set her on a path to excellence. “I am inspired by supporting dedicated and passionate leaders and so deeply proud of those that have gone on to be successful beyond our walls!”
Speaking more about her inspirations, Jeannette takes a moment to consider the team of senior leaders of which she is a part and the many ways her professional peers are like family. “I am grateful to work in an inspiring and outstanding leadership team who have accepted me for who I am.” That deep acceptance amid years of working and growing together has led to profound trust, and Jeannette says that “working in an environment where I feel complete trust in my peers is something I am deeply grateful for.”
Grounded in both family and community in all that she does, Jeannette is as local as can be. While she grew up in Ucluelet, her earliest connection to the Inn cannot go unmentioned as she was famously born in the Tofino Hospital and delivered by the very Dr. Howard McDiarmid himself! Growing up in what most locals call “Ukee,” she recalls that she “couldn’t wait to get out of here!”. However, as the best-laid plans can often go in the Pacific Rim, she married a fisherman and stayed. Spending time with her husband and children helps keep things in perspective for Jeannette, and family is her most cherished joy.
When asked what the future holds, so much is bound up in her passion for hospitality and service excellence. She sees herself continuing to provide our world-class guest experience for years to come and spending time investing in the future leaders of tomorrow from which she draws so much inspiration. Reflecting further, Jeannette recalls a team member who worked with her for many years who has since moved on to working at the United Nations in a role assisting stateless women to gain statehood and stability. Deeply inspired by this person’s trajectory and proud of how she helped guide and shape her during her tenure at the Inn, Jeannette feels she could see a future where she works more closely on humanitarian projects. Considering all of her talents and passions and the care and attention she gives so generously from her heart to her family, our team members, and our guests - it is no wonder her future shines so brightly. The light she casts illuminates the path for so many who have come to know her.