Staff Spotlight: Robert Murray, Director, Quality Assurance
Welcome to our Staff Spotlight blog series! This is where you’ll meet the people behind the Hotel. With over 400 associates working at Pan Pacific Vancouver, there are a lot of personalities and a lot of stories to tell!
Today we shine the spotlight on Robert Murray, who is not only our Director, Quality Assurance, but also a Hall of Fame Firefighter!
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Australia and emigrated from Germany with my wife, and have lived in Canada since 1992 and currently reside in North Vancouver with my wife, son and cat.
How long have you been with Pan Pacific Vancouver?
I was here for one year in 1989-1990 and returned in 1992, and have been here ever since, so a total of 26 years.
What’s a typical day as Director, Quality Assurance like?
There is no typical day – which is what makes it interesting. Depending on what is happening at the hotel, my day can begin with leading the housekeeping team in their morning stretches, then reviewing our guest satisfaction surveys and online reviews, and then checking in and assisting on the operations in various departments throughout the day. You name it, I have probably done it.
What’s your favourite part about your job?
Working with the associates and seeing the guest feedback, conversations with our guests, and working on projects.
What are the most challenging aspects about your job?
Balancing time and flowing from department to department and job to job at a moment’s notice.
You are in charge of protocol when it comes to VIP and celebrity guests. Can you share with us the process in getting the Pan ready for such a guest?
This is a group effort and the dedication of the entire team both front of house associates, back of house teams and often liaising with external security teams or protocol offices that may range from Private or Government (often from other countries), to RCMP or VPD.
Any special moment or celebrity encounter you want to share with us?
Over the years I have been very fortunate to have met and assisted numerous celebrities, entertainment personalities and heads of state. Confidence, trust and integrity are paramount – there may be musicians practicing, tenors singing, dancers practicing or conversations between presidents/prime ministers. Instilling this confidence in these guests is key.
You also enjoy taking photos and build up quite a following on your Instagram. What do you look for in a picture when you’re around the hotel or when walking around town?
I tend to look for images of urban settings, black and white, shapes, shades, general day to day what all see and do.. whether I’m walking through a particular area, I see something. I generally don’t take images of people or take pictures of myself and post them, however just recently I was asked to take pictures at an outdoor setting wedding which turned out well.
And if being Director, Quality Assurance wasn’t enough to keep you busy, you also volunteer with local groups in the community! How did that start and what do you do with them?
I have been volunteering for 12 years with community policing, Operation Red nose for 8 years and for the past 15 months at home volunteer program assisting people with their yard work.
Last question! What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
Well, I like to run – half marathons, 10K races, road and mountain bike, kayaking, cooking and yard work!