Michelle Herndon

Michelle Herndon


Director of Diversity & Community at Boka Restaurant Group


It might sound very simple, but treating people with kindness has served me very well throughout my career. One’s reputation is everything as it lines up with how you make people feel.


EXPERIENCE
EDUCATION
The purpose of making changes and interacting daily with people who want to partner with me in theses efforts are what inspires me to excel in this industry. Big changes are great, but small changes are even greater.
I knew this profession was right for me when it started to serve as a tool for healing, expression and purpose, in a natural and organic way; when I saw how I was impacting the people and guests that I work with.
The people in my company keep me constantly inspired, I love them like family.
Discipline to make a balance is a daily commitment. This industry is a constant, needy one that can literally strip you of any life, if there isn’t a daily practice of finding even the smallest ways for balance, like eating lunch sitting down!
Cooperation and openness go hand and hand as one thing.
My team has bi-weekly forums where we share, learn, and grow together. I also think the intimate one-on-one conversations with team members, where I facilitate them in their personal and professional growth, are so rewarding to witness and be a part of.
I find inspiration in so many places honestly. Everything, from a TED talk to the sound of a child laughing and playing!
I continue to educate myself by staying open and truly listening to people, that’s where I learn the most.
Initiative and accountability are two main skills that I look for when hiring. Someone who has higher expectations for themselves, more than I do. It’s also important to possess empathy, maturity, grace, and patience with self and others.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.


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James Beard Award