Tuesday, August 4, 2009

John Gilbertson

John Gilbertson mentors a bemused onlooker with his obligatory i-Phone

The motel industry has few contributing members that stay in the industry for long enough to make a difference.

John Gilbertson, one of the few remaining icons of the motel industry has announced that he is stepping aside from motel life.

He has left some big shoes to fill.

Although John is an ex-school teacher and an ardent environmentalist, I respect him immensely and enjoy the robust debates that we have ;-)

John and his wife Sally will be taking a well deserved break from running their successful Nelson motel on a day to day basis by appointing full time managers and leaving them to it. John has also resigned as a board member of HOST Accommodation.

They designed and built their award winning motel property, Arrow Motel Apartments with environmental points of difference that were well ahead of its time. As operators, John and Sally lived and breathed the motel lifestyle and hosted guests with loving, caring empathy.

John's deep thinking and caring attitude was appreciated during his roles serving on the Nelson MANZ executive including a long stint as President. John assisted the establishment of the on-line Duty Motel system that is now used by motels throughout the country. The online booking system, HolidayGuide was also established with the help of John and this has become the most successful and widely used on-line booking engine used by moteliers.

MANZ (Motel Association of NZ) appointed John as one of their industry mentors and recognised him with a Life Membership of their association in 2007.

John is at his happiest in front of a white board or on his laptop mentoring fellow moteliers. He is sought out for advice by many moteliers and these skills amongst his many talents were more recently used in his board role with the HOST Accommodation Group and on the Qualmark Advisory Committee.

John and Sally's environmental and social concerns were heartfelt and genuine well before it became a fashionable box ticking exercise for some. Last year they were proud to become the first motel property to be awarded a Qualmark Enviro Gold status.

So what now....? Although the plan is to relax and spend more deserved quality time with family, John plans to offer his services as a motel consultant. This should prove to be a worthy challenge with moteliers' notoriety of having short hands and long pockets ;-)

We wish John and Sally all the best...

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