Staff Profile: Michael Campbell, Maitre 'd
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At the Wickaninnish Inn, we pride ourselves on providing genuine and skilled professional service. All of our staff are essential to creating the experiences we offer here, and those who are part of our leadership team are the ones who enable it. We rely on our leadership team to actively support everyone else develop and execute their roles successfully, to assist where needed and to demonstrate our values through exemplifying them.
Michael Campbell, our Maître d', embodies these qualities alongside his humble nature and cordial attention to service excellence. As a leader in our culinary program, the Maître d' is responsible for the smooth operations of all aspects of our culinary offerings: the Pointe Restaurant, On the Rocks Bar, Driftwood Café and Room Service. We are incredibly happy to see Michael, after a few years away, back at the Inn to take on this role.
Michael first came to us in January 2000 through a job posting he saw in the papers—“back when you still looked in the newspapers for jobs,” he notes. It was after he’d been travelling for a year and was seeking some time in a more rural environment. He arrived in Tofino and applied at the Wickaninnish Inn with a Certificate of Culinary Arts (Fanshaw College) and Sommelier designation (Canadian Sommelier Guild). After his interview, we were delighted to offer Michael a position at the Pointe Restaurant as a swing server. He accepted. The following year he was promoted to a night server and Sommelier.
While he was enjoying his time in Tofino, the travel bug came back, and for the next six years he would continue to work at the Wick between a few trips abroad and working on cruise ships for the season. We were sad to see Michael leave Tofino in 2006, but his move to the Sunshine Coast granted him the opportunity to spend more time with his mother and sister who lived there.
Over the next 12 years, Michael continued to work and excel in the hospitality industry, but the variability of seasonal work and a few business operations changing hands inhibited the development he desired. With his travel lust satiated, Michael was looking for a positive team environment where he could apply his skills; somewhere consistent in quality, employment and performance, where he would be challenged and continue to grow—a place where he could work towards his personal and career goals. He already knew the best place to do so—here at the Inn—and we were happy to see Michael return to Tofino and personally welcome him back to our team at the beginning of this year.
Michael is a gifted server and shows true hospitality in his work. “When I serve it shows the others how to elevate themselves,” he says, adding that he loves how guests at the Wickaninnish are “wide-eyed ready to hear about the food, wine and Tofino”—all topics he will gladly—and expertly—attend to!
He is also a fantastic leader in our team. As a “conduit between staff,” Michael says he tries to be a mentor by showing up with confidence and a body of knowledge to share. He appreciates how the aspirational nature of the Wickaninnish Inn allows him to rise up and work with so many other talented people who are as attentive to their roles as he is.
It’s uplifting to hear Michael’s story and, with his return, continue this symbiotic journey together. The energy he invests here brightens the experience our guests have in so many ways. We celebrate his presence as a leader and team member, and the positive impact he continues to make in all the details he touches.