Joanne Montgomery: Providing Shelter for Essential Workers

Joanne Montgomery started working for G6 Hospitality 13 years ago as a housekeeper at a Motel 6. She quickly recognized the potential of a career in hospitality, and at her 60-day check in with her manager, Montgomery noted that her ultimate career goal would be to “rise as high as [she] could.” Since then, Montgomery has climbed the ranks at G6, becoming head housekeeper and eventually corporate general manager at the Motel 6 in Modesto, Calif.

Montgomery credits her success to her strong people skills and says that her favorite part of the day is getting to know new guests when the walk through her doors.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, Montgomery turned to the experts, familiarizing herself with guidelines from the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) and making a point to stay abreast of the latest federal, state, and local safety measures. She also started daily staff meetings to ensure her team was informed on best practices and G6 Hospitality’s “Clean @6” protocols.

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The health and safety of Montgomery’s staff was one of her top priorities. She ensured that her team was adequately equipped with personal protective equipment so that they could be safe while they went about their work. She accommodated staff members who, due to underlying health conditions, needed to step back from the frontline. She also had an open-door policy, ensuring her team felt free to ask questions and share concerns about the pandemic.

While COVID-19 had a severe impact on the hotel industry at large, Montgomery’s property averaged 85 percent occupancy over the last six months and provided accommodations for frontline workers and vulnerable communities alike.

Despite the difficulties of these past nine months, Montgomery has never considered moving on from the hotel industry, citing the support of Motel 6’s executive leadership and the devotion of her team. She also notes that she will not give up on anyone and wants nothing more than to avoid putting anyone out on the street in this uncertain time.

 


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Kate Hughes, Editor, LODGING Magazine