Rising Star (by: Matt Newquist)

On March 2nd, 2015, I began my employment with High 5 Hospitality.  Little did I know, I was not only starting a career with a new company, I was starting a journey with an inspirational group of leaders.  It took very little time for me to realize that H5H leadership cared about their people, motivated their people to give their absolute best, and understood the importance of celebrating the wins.  Just as “Lead the Way” resonates in 2017, “Raise the Bar” resonated in 2015 with all the results that the leadership teams accomplished.  The constant encouragement to raise the bar to the next level once a goal was met, served as a mantra to inspire healthy competition.

In my first month with H5H, I was promoted to General Manager of the Limestone Road location.  Over the course of my first year as a GM at Limestone Road, my team was first in H5H history to cross the 4 million dollar mark in annual sales.  We executed a flawless rollout of the new KDU systems, we met or exceeded all goals on our P&L, and we built a strong team that was committed to our company values with a focus on S.T.A.R.S. in everything we did.  While we also made several mistakes along the way, I can say with confidence that some of these mistakes were just as important as the accomplishments, as they were the result of learning through trial . I believe that if you go into any endeavor afraid to try – and sometimes falter – you’ll never truly succeed.

On February 17th, 2016, Brittany McCardle and I, were honored with the Rising Star Award at the H5H annual awards ceremony.  This was the first year that H5H bestowed this award, and to me, it was the highest honor.  When I think of what the Rising Star means, I think of the great responsibility that goes along with this recognition.  Just like that bar that we refused to lower with our results and standards, a Rising Star refuses to fall.  A rising star must recognize opportunities in its path and stick to its trajectory of upward success, never falling.

As new leaders are honored with the Rising Star Award going forward, I hope they truly understand the meaning of this tribute.  Leading the Way is not a task; it is a responsibility, and a duty, that must be pursued with relentless focus.  Each and every leader on the H5H team has the opportunity to become a rising star and continue their own path of success.  I look forward to honoring the 2017 Rising Stars at the awards ceremony in February.