Grand Service Spotlight
Arizona Grand Resort & Spa would like to spotlight some of the exceptional associates who help make our guest experience second to none — and thank them for their invaluable contributions to the Arizona Grand family.
When the pandemic hit, Maria Ortiz knew things were going to change. The banquet kitchen where she worked was essentially closed because of event cancellations, but she was able to transition over to the Oasis Kitchen where she has been ever since.
“I love my work in the kitchen area,” she said. “I am preparer of the salads, and here at Oasis I am also a preparer and I send in orders. I like my job, I love it.”
Ortiz has been part of the Arizona Grand family since 2007, and said her co-workers are a big reason she enjoys her work.
“My supervisor is a great person, so I really love that,” she said. “And I am also the same with them. I have not had any problems in the 13 years that I have been here.”
Ortiz’s enthusiasm and commitment to her work are an ideal example of the Arizona Grand’s culture and commitment to a “HEARTfelt Experience” (Helpful, Ethical, Attentive, Resourceful and Thankful).
“It’s a very good job, I like it,” she said. “I recommend it because of the guests, it’s very nice.”
Maria Antonia Rodriguez
For Maria Antonia Rodriguez, it’s the team approach of the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa that appeals to her.
“We work as a team, and our job is valued and I see that because of the long time I have worked here,” said Rodriguez, who joined the Arizona Grand team in 2002. “I like my job very much — I like what I do a lot. I like to clean rooms, my co-workers, to work as a team. We exchange tips through conversations on how we can better a skill, what can be done better and what can look better.”
One of her favorite memories was seeing a repeat guest family that would praise her work every time they came to stay at the resort. They ended up becoming friends and are still in regular contact.
“It’s something very special, because even now, she has communication with me through letter and phone messages,” she said. “It’s a beautiful experience because she left very happy from here and she said that she loves it here. She would leave very happy because she would say all the employees were fabulous. She would love to come to this place because she could see we would treat them so well and we would help them. Our job was essential for her.”
Rodriguez said that it’s the positive feedback from guest that she finds rewarding, thanks in no small part to a commitment to the Arizona Grand’s culture and commitment to a “HEARTfelt Experience” (Helpful, Ethical, Attentive, Resourceful and Thankful).
“There have been guests that have said ‘You do an excellent job, it is not an easy job, it’s a very heavy job, we think that you all are doing the best that you can do for us so we are happy,’” she said. “These are things that guests have always told us to all of us and we have all have heard them. Everything shows in the work that we do every day and it’s something that I am proud of.”
LEAD HVAC TECHNICIAN
Manny Perez could work a lot of places as an HVAC technician, but he loves working at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa.
“I like to work on fixing things, you know, and see how they work,” he said. “The coworkers and the people that I work with are awesome — they treat you as a person, so I’m happy working in this environment.”
He said that the environment at the Arizona Grand is inspiring thanks to the culture created by the associates on site.
“Every day is a special day for me coming here, I’m always excited to be here,” he said. “I feel happy that there’s a big family here.”
Manny is celebrating his third anniversary working at the Arizona Grand Resort, and is part of the resort’s and commitment to a “HEARTfelt Experience” (Helpful, Ethical, Attentive, Resourceful and Thankful).
“Every single area of the property, they do their best, whether in landscaping or housekeeping or any position,” he said. “They want to do the best for the guests. We’re happy to serve and always happy to help the guests when they ask for something.”
Manny has seen the hospitality industry be affected by the pandemic, but he’s confident in what the future holds.
“It’s obvious this business was hit from that, everything got slow,” he said. “But we’re optimistic and my hope is that we’ll see this place full of people having a good time.”
He said that guests are also part of the feeling of family created at the Arizona Grand.
“I think you’re going to feel like you’re at home, surrounded by family,” he said. “Every single person here always has a smile, it’s a very special place to spend time out of the ordinary routine.”
Ultimately, Manny said that work is about “loving what you do and doing what you love.”
“Like any other job, loyalty and principles are important. Everywhere you go,” he said. “But this place gives you a stimulus to do more and be happy.”
Edward Jaramillo has a positive attitude that’s infectious when he talks about his work at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa.
“I like working with the people, it’s a good atmosphere,” he said. “Everyone’s easy to get along with, my bosses are great — it’s just a great place to work. I enjoy it.”
Edward joined the Arizona Grand family five years ago working in the banquet kitchen, but when the pandemic hit and events were cancelled, he was offered the opportunity to stay on board as a golf greenskeeper. He said he enjoys working on the golf course but can’t wait to get back to the kitchen.
“In the banquet kitchen where I worked, it was the volume of work we were doing that I liked,” he said. “I’m more of a motivated person, and I just loved running around.
“That’s my home in the ballroom kitchen.”
Edward said that the interaction with both his fellow associates and with guests of the resort is one of his favorite parts of the job — embodying the Arizona Grand’s culture and commitment to a “HEARTfelt Experience” (Helpful, Ethical, Attentive, Resourceful and Thankful).
“My coworkers and I enjoy the customers that come by, they’re always nice and considerate,” he said. “It’s a great place to come and visit, and the people who work here are great at interacting with the guests. The guest really enjoy that.”
Edward said the past year has been “a little quiet but enjoyable,” and he’s looking forward to when the hotel fills up.
“If someone wants to come stay, they’re more than welcome,” he said. “It’s a great place to stay.”
Kyle Stanley has been a part of the Arizona Grand family for his entire adult life. His story began at the resort 14 years ago, when he started as a high school student doing golf course maintenance.
While he enjoyed working in golf, his dream was to become a firefighter. So once he started his education to become an EMT, it was time for a change of departments. His supervisor at the time, Scooter, is still one of his friends to this day and helped him pursue his dream by aiding in his transfer.
“It was amazing the support I got from him, and believe it or not I still came back a couple of times while in security and helped his team out at times,” Kyle said.
Kyle is now a part-time Arizona Grand employee — his full-time job is as a firefighter with the City of Maricopa — but continues his work because of his affection for his coworkers and his desire to serve Arizona Grand guests.
“It’s the people,” he said. “Our department, the security department, it’s like a police or fire department. We’re all brothers and sisters and there’s really good camaraderie, teamwork, a good attitude, everyone helps each other out — coming to work is fun.”
He said the commitment to safety and a quality guest experience is the key focus of his entire department.
“Safety first,” he said. “We have EMTs on staff, which I think shows how serious we are about it. A lot of resorts don’t have EMT service on site, and I think that shows the amount of care we have about anything that might arise.”
Kyle said the Arizona Grand team also does a lot of charity work and fundraising, including holiday food drives, blood drives and many other activities — living out the resort’s culture and commitment to a “HEARTfelt Experience” (Helpful, Ethical, Attentive, Resourceful and Thankful).
“We give a lot back to the community around us…it’s known in the community around us that we try to give back.”
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has created significant challenges to the resort’s overall operations and has certainly impacted guest visits, but he and his fellow associates have banded together to get through it all.
“It’s definitely been a lot different and there’s been a lot of sacrifice,” he said. “The security department didn’t get hit as severely as other departments, and we’ve had to jump in and help other departments because of the level of business. We’ve picked up the extra work and my whole team really should get a lot of the credit. Everyone still has a smile on their face.”
And without question, Kyle’s favorite Arizona Grand memory was meeting his future wife in the summer of 2013. She was a bartender at the Oasis Water Park, and at the end of the summer Kyle worked up the nerve to ask for her phone number. The rest was history, and they married in 2017.
The Arizona Grand Resort & Spa would like to thank Kyle and all of our associates for their dedication and commitment to making our guests and their level of service our top priority. Thank you Kyle for everything you do!