Up Close: Profile of the Director of Housekeeping at Hershey Lodge
Q) Why did you choose to work for Hershey?
A) I chose to work for Hershey because of the positive reputation they have in the industry and across the state, as well as for the core purpose of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts: to assist the children at Milton Hershey School (MHS), helping to make their lives as enjoyable as possible and offering them opportunities that each child deserves. This is something that I personally understand and hold dear to my heart. I have always enjoyed working in the hospitality industry through my entire life, and to be able to assist in making such a positive impact on another person’s life makes mine complete. I have believed since my first day with HE&R that we are most blessed from God to work in Hershey and doing the great work of our founder, Milton S. Hershey.
Q) What's your biggest accomplishment since joining the Hershey team?
A) My biggest accomplishment is not a promotion but assisting our team, especially our younger members, hourly and management in becoming the best possible person they can be. Making sure they have the tools to complete their job each day and having an open door policy when they need to just sit and talk. If I can assist in making a person’s job easier and listening more than talking, I will have succeeded far more in giving back to our community in a most positive way.
Q) What's your favorite ride at Hersheypark?
A) Wild Mouse - I have an extreme fear of heights and this is a major adrenaline rush for me.
Q) What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?
A) Making the guest, both internal and external happy and making sure they have the best day and experience possible. Also, assisting in making HE&R the place that our guests talk about long after their vacation or convention has ended and spreading the positive word on return visits. Finally, seeing a person smile is what makes my position enjoyable each and every day.
Q) What advice would you give someone interested in a career in hotel management and/or housekeeping?
A) Work hard, be honest, care more about others than you do yourself. Give back more than you expect back and understand there will be long hours and challenging days, but at the end you will have made a positive difference in our guests and employees lives. This makes our jobs and careers absolutely worth any challenging day that we may have.
"My biggest accomplishment is not a promotion but assisting our team, especially our younger members, hourly and management in becoming the best possible person they can be. "
If you’ve ever stepped foot inside Hershey Lodge there’s a good chance you have met or at least seen Scott Comport, Director of Housekeeping. As you’ll learn from his interview, he is constantly walking around the Lodge seeing what his employees need, making sure guests are having the most enjoyable time possible and helping to keep Hershey Lodge and pristine as possible. Scott takes tremendous pride in his work and has a passionate zest for helping his team succeed.
Despite his early (and sometimes long) hours I was able to snag a few precious minutes of his time. Enjoy reading about why he chose a path in housekeeping and what makes him so zealous about his job.
Q) Tell us about your career. Where did you go to school? What was your career path prior to joining Hershey?
A) My career began in 1985 with Interstate Hotels at two different Marriott properties in Pittsburgh, PA. I began as a Bell person and soon transferred to the Front Office team, working as a Front Desk agent, PBX phone system, Reservations and servicing our VIP guests on the Concierge Level. I spent three years there before accepting a promotion to a new Marriott property at the Pittsburgh Airport. I was a Front Office Supervisor, overseeing Guest Services, a position that I very much enjoyed.
Soon after, Holiday Inn Hotels opened their first corporate property on the campus of The University of Pittsburgh and I accepted a Front Office Supervisor position. I was there for four years and then accepted a management promotion to Hilton Head Island South Carolina – a move that myself and my wife Beth Ann enjoyed very much.
After two years I accepted a transfer back to Pittsburgh as our first son was born and wanted to be closer to family. Over the next 13 years, I worked in a variety of management positions, including Food and Beverage, Front Office, Guest Services and Banquet Management.
In 2007, I applied and was hired for the Guest Services Manager position at Hershey Lodge. Moving to Hershey has been the best and happiest move for me, my wife and our two boys. We have never looked back, only forward. I started as the Guest Services Manager on August 1 and in November of the same year I assisted in Banquet Management during the busy holiday season.
In 2012, I accepted a promotion to the Director of Housekeeping at Hershey Lodge – a position that I very much enjoy. I look forward to the day to day challenges of leading a very large department and continuing to make it happen for the guests, both internal and external. We continue to strive each day to assist with the guest experience and making sure they have an amazing visit and return for years to come.
Q) Walk us through your career so far at Hershey.
A) I applied in the winter months of 2007 as myself and wife Beth, with our two sons had visited the winter of 2006 and loved the area and the close proximity to my wife's family in Pittsburgh. I had my first phone interview shortly after and came to stay overnight in the spring for several interviews. I accepted the position of Guest Services Manager in June of 2007 and began August 1. My family moved here at the end of August, before school began. It was challenging at first being new to the area, but we quickly realized this was the perfect move as our boys enjoyed Lower Dauphin Schools and the area became home very quickly.
In November of 2007, I assisted for the next few months in Banquet Management, working the evening hours after Guest Services. I really enjoyed this opportunity as they have a great team that goes the extra mile each and every day. I began to cross train in Housekeeping at the beginning of 2012 and was offered a promotion to Director of Housekeeping in March of the same year. I accepted and began to lead the largest department at the Lodge, a position that I continue to enjoy as no two days are the same. We have an amazing group of over 120 team members that work hard each day to make the guest experience one they will remember and want to return year after year.
Q) What's the best perk of your job?
A) Never regretting the path that I chose many years ago and waking up each day with a smile on my face, ready to make a positive difference, especially for the kids at MHS.
Q) What does a typical day consist of?
A) Arriving to work around 5:30 a.m., coming into the office and meeting with our AM Coordinator. Making sure that we are ready for the staff and ready when our team begins to arrive. I meet each morning with our third shift supervisor before he departs and we talk about the night before and any challenges that he may have had. Then, we discuss the staffing for the following night and any project that needs to be completed. I complete a full property walk and inspection each morning as this will give me the opportunity to see what needs to be done by our shifts during the day. We have line-up at the beginning of the shift and then management line-up at 8:45 a.m.
After returning to my office, I begin to review daily payroll, request off forms, emails, budgeting and ordering numbers. Then, I complete a second property walk to see what has been completed and still needs assigned. During my property walks I meet with different team members to make sure all is good with them and if there is anything that they need assistance with. In addition, I make any phone calls during the late morning hours and then call back any guest that may have had a challenge or question.
I try to take lunch around 12:30 p.m. and then begin a third walk and inspection before afternoon line-up and management meeting each day at 2:00 p.m. At this time we discuss the morning and afternoon into evening shifts. We then assign our second shift to positions, based on occupancy and events on the convention center side. I complete my final walk through late in the afternoon to make sure our second and third shift have all they need to succeed. Finally, I try to depart the office after the house is turned (which means all rooms have been cleaned and ready for new guests to check in).
Q) Tell us something folks might not know about you.
A) I have been with my wife Beth since we were very young and have a most blessed life. As our sons are grown, we now enjoy spending time together traveling and going for coffee on Saturday mornings when I am off. We will celebrate 31 years in August and I thank God each and every day that he has blessed me with allowing me to marry my best friend many, many years ago.
I also enjoy all Pittsburgh sports, especially football and baseball.