Director of food and beverage, Lotte Hotel Guam
Education: Hotel and restaurant management from the International Correspondence School
Favorite vacation spot: Basilan Island, Mindanao, Philippines
Recommended book: “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”
First job: Food and beverage host of Pacific Star Hotel
By Dance Aoki
In the hotel overlooking the horizon at Gun Beach, at the Northern-most edge of Tumon Bay, Lisa Diaz devotes her days to ensuring guests at the Lotte Hotel Guam are as delighted by their dining experiences as they are by the view.
As director of food and beverage at the hotel, Diaz oversees La Seine, Club Lounge, The Lounge and Deli, the lobby bar, Horizon Café beside the pool and cabanas, as well as banquet halls and room service.
“It’s always hectic, amazing and amusing,” she says of her day-to-day responsibilities. “Never boring.”
Diaz has been working in Guam’s hospitality industry since she was a teenager. Her first job was food and beverage host at the Pacific Star Hotel. She has been on an upward path ever since.
“I was promoted to assistant restaurant manager at the age of 18 years old in 1989,” she says. “I was the youngest on the management team of Pacific Star Hotel.”
When the Palace Hotel — now the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort — was about to open, she was offered a job there. Diaz was part of the pre-opening team and contributed to the food and beverage service training manual, she says.
Though she had amassed a great deal of experience at a young age working in hotels, Diaz says she wanted to challenge herself and learn about all aspects of running a business.
She took a break from hospitality, left the island and excelled as general manager of Denny’s Restaurants in different cities across the United States. Diaz says she was able to learn how to be the owner and operator of her own business managing different locations of the franchise.
“I had opened different stores — both franchise and corporately owned stores — in different parts of the U.S. My stores held the title of number one in controllable profit and number three in sales among all the corporately owned stores on the East Coast for three consecutive years, and this was during the downfall of the economy,” she says.
Diaz returned to Guam in 2010 to work at the Guam Plaza Hotel, running the food and beverage operations there. In 2014, she helped open the new Lotte Hotel Guam.
In addition to her responsibilities at Lotte, Diaz is also an officer for the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association. She serves as the secretary for the food and beverage committee.
Her lifetime experience has taught her the value of setting goals.
“I measure my success by achieving target sales goals and exceeding it consistently,” she says.
Diaz says she never stops learning and growing in her career, no matter what she’s doing.
She continues to study different aspects of management, attends enrichment courses and seminars whenever she can and takes advantage of whatever workshops or trainings are available to help her improve.
She’s attended classes at the University of Guam, Guam Community College and Cornel University, studying human resource management and business management.
Even after a long career, her future at Lotte Hotel Guam seems bright. Her next professional goal is to one day become general manager.
“Why not?” she says.
She has hopes of opening more Lotte hotels in international destinations with her loving family behind her as support.
“They […] embraced and loved my job as much as I do,” she says. “I make it enjoyable for them as I share my perks and benefits and made them well-aware of and [able to] experience the promotions that we have at my work.”
Spending time with her family is her favorite way to unwind. Her eldest son is attending college in Colorado, her stepson is in the U.S. Air Force and she has a 10-year-old son with her on Guam.