Monday Meeting with Managing Director Jeffrey Mayers.
Jeffrey Mayers was named managing director of the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens in October.
“I oversee the entire operation of both the resort and members club. In addition, my role provides me the opportunity to participate in local organizations and non-profits,” Mayers said.
“What I love about my job is every day is a new adventure. Since I am a ’people person,’ this role allows me to meet and engage with resort guests and members from all walks of life and all over the world,” Mayers said. “What I truly enjoy is the camaraderie among the staff who work together to deliver memorable experiences.”
Mayers has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the hospitality industry and comes to PGA National from The Resort at Longboat Key Club where he had oversight of the resort operation and club.
Previously, he was the general manager at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach.
One of the biggest challenges of his job is dealing with the unknown.
“While every day you plan for success, invariably a curve call gets thrown at you. It’s how you respond and adapt that will determine the outcome,” Mayers said.
PGA National is a residential community, golf club and resort on 800 acres off PGA Boulevard, west of Florida’s Turnpike. It includes five 18-hold golf courses, a 339-room hotel, 42,000 square feet of meeting space and a spa.
Brookfield Asset Management of Toronto, Canada, purchased the resort and spa in December for close to $218 million, according to property records. The famous golf resort opened in 1981.
Name: Jeffrey Mayers
Job title: Managing Director, PGA National Resort & Spa
Hometown and where you live now: Baltimore and now living in Palm Beach Gardens
Family: I have two sons attending college in Florida
Education: University of Maryland
About your company: In addition to being recently recognized by Cond Nast Traveler in its coveted 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards as a top resort in Florida, we’re probably most famous as home to the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic held annually on our Champion Course.
Few golf courses anywhere have a pedigree as storied as The Champion, which also includes hosting the 1983 Ryder Cup, 1987 PGA Championship and two decades of the Senior PGA Championship. Avid golfers from the world over love to visit us to play The Champion and see if they can tame the mighty Bear Trap just like the pros.
We also offer an incredible array of non-golf amenities. For example, few destinations can match us as a perfect venue for weddings, corporate events and meetings. We also feature numerous indoor and outdoor options for most any size group and host a full roster of social and holiday events throughout the year. PGA National additionally offers an exclusive “Membership Club” for locals so area residents can enjoy all the fun here.
With today’s focus for health and fitness we’re at the top of the heap with our 33,000-square-foot Sports & Racquet Club and world-class spa. The Waters of the World mineral healing pools here is not to be missed. We also have superb dining for all tastes with nine on-site dining options including our sophisticated iBAR in our spacious lobby and signature restaurant, Ironwood Steak & Seafood. Both iBAR and Ironwood are popular gathering spots for our resort guests, members and Palm Beach residents.
First paying job and what you learned from it: I was a dishwasher for a restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland. What I learned from my role is being responsible and having strong work ethic.
The first break in business: I had studied political science in college but found an interim position in the hospitality industry after graduation. After a period working in the industry, I had an instant feeling that it was where I belonged. I felt it was so in line with my personality and passions. This has led me to where I am today.
How your business has changed: Technology has transformed the hospitality business in many ways. From online reservations to social media reviews, to property specific apps, to digital marketing, the hospitality business continues to evolve.
However, there will always be one constant, those who deliver service to guests and members alike.
Best business book (or any leadership book) that you have read: I love to read autobiographies in my spare time about influential and successful business people. “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson was a great read. Additionally, “The Point of It All” by Charles Krauthammer was fascinating.
The best piece of business advice you have received: Always be true to yourself. Never change the person you are regardless of the success or opportunities you have in life.
What you tell young people about your business: Find your career passion. In doing so, there is a high probability you will be successful.
Many successful people learn from failure. Do you have a failure you can share and what you learned from it? I have a fear of failure, but I am not scared to take risks. Over the years, I have learned from my mistakes. It’s what you learn from your mistakes that will impact your future.
What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? Tourism within Palm Beach County and Florida is becoming increasingly more competitive. It is essential for leaders in the Palm Beaches tourism industry to find initiatives that will shift tourists’ interest from other Florida destinations to our area to grow the number of visitors into the county.
Power lunch spot: iBar at PGA National is my favorite spot to grab lunch. How can you beat the floor-to- ceiling windows that peek out to a tropical oasis with lakeside and golf course views in the distance? Plus, the food is flavorful, and offers easy access to the lobby where you can see all the guests entering the resort.
Where would we find you when you are not at the office? The gym, and lucky for me we have an amazing sports and racquet club right here at PGA National. I also enjoy my time on the golf course.
Favorite smartphone app: Facetime is absolutely my favorite app because it allows me to reach out to my sons despite the fact they are six hours away. I can communicate with them and see their faces at the same time.
What is the most important trait you look for when hiring? When hiring, it depends on which role we are looking to hire. If this person is going to be working on the guest experience, their personality is probably most important. Being the first point of contact for our resort guests, I would want that person to be extroverted and enthusiastic. However, if the person is going to be behind the scenes, that would not be my priority. I would be looking more for work ethic and a proven track record.