Name: Richard Chapman
Job title: Recreation Manager
Year started Hard Rock: 2007
- Have you changed job titles since you started at Hard Rock?
I started working at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood in early 2007 as a recreation attendant. After a year, I became a lifeguard, and I held that position for nearly two years. I was promoted to recreation supervisor in 2010 and took on a management role for the first time. Following two years of mentoring by Bridget Silverman, the front desk manager at the time, I was promoted to department head of recreation in 2012.
- Tell us a little about yourself and share one fun fact that we may not be aware of.
I was born in Nashville, Tenn., but moved to South Florida at a young age. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and swimming. I swam competitively throughout high school and college and won several All American titles in the breaststroke. I majored in exercise science and health promotions and graduated from FAU in 2008.
A fun fact would be that I collect different types of things from longboard skateboards to mini-figures.
- Let’s take a look inside “a day in the life” of you. Name at least five key responsibilities that make up the core of your position.
Our main goal at the pool is to make sure all of our guests are having a fun and safe experience. We start each day by setting up the towel desk, pool deck and cabanas with towels. All cabana reservations are made through the recreation department, and it is our cabana butlers who take care of the VIP guests in our cabanas. The Beach Club restaurant also provides a server for the cabana areas. There are always several lifeguards on duty at the pool, so that our guests will always feel safe; we ensure that all of our stations have the proper man power and safety equipment. We also hold many pool deck events throughout the year, such as weddings, photo shoots and all types of banquets.
- What is your individual rock star approach to being spectacular at your job?
I think over-the-top guest service starts by getting to know our guests. I strive to speak to as many of our visitors whether they are locals or guests who have traveled thousands of miles. I always find that our guests have the most interesting stories, and I try to personalize each experience based on each individual guest. The more we know about our guests, the better we can service them. I love my repeat guests and being able to catch up with them after a long hiatus or even a few short weeks. Also, I find it easy to provide exceptional service when our guests are in an environment in which they feel relaxed and safe.
- What do you love the most about your job and being a part of the Seminole Hard Rock family?
I like to brag to all of my friends, family and other coworkers that I have the best job on property. I love working in the outdoor environment and being in the sun. Furthermore, I’ve been with Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood almost eight years now, and I consider many of my coworkers to be family. I know staff in nearly every department and love working with them.
- What is your most fond memory since Day 1 at Hard Rock with a guest or fellow team member?
I had a family of 10 come to the pool about five years ago when I was still a lifeguard. I gave each of the children really cool nicknames. The family came back to visit me last year, and they were still using the nicknames I had given them. They were also really excited to see that I was promoted to manager and visited me each day of their stay. Some of the family members still write me emails just to catch up once in a while.