st. regis longboat key hiring manager profile - lana
Courtesy of Lana K.

Name: Lana K.
Position: Assistant Director of HR Operations
Hotel: The St. Regis Longboat Key
Dream destinations: Portugal and Japan
Drink or treat of choice:  Kombucha and espresso

It’s been a long way to the white sands of Florida’s Gulf Coast for Lana, an Assistant Director of Operations who grew up in a traditional Russian family in Kazakhstan. Today, with two daughters and a 15-year long career at Marriott, Lana is a proud member of the pre-opening team at The St. Regis Longboat Key, one of the newest additions to Marriott’s luxury portfolio.

“I came to the US first as a J-1 student and fell in love with hospitality during my college years,” Lana says. “I really am proud of my career journey and having been able to turn my life 180 degrees around working for Marriott.”

Fifteen years ago, Lana started her Marriott journey as a restaurant server at the exclusive mountain resort The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail, in Colorado. From there she went on to take roles in the reservations department and then left the company for a few years to explore other options. Lana came back in 2021 as a Human Resources generalist at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colorado, a decision that changed her career path and her life forever.

“This was my first entry into HR operations. My career evolved drastically ever since I came back,” recalls Lana. “Today, I’m thrilled to be opening a brand-new ultra-luxury property in the role of Assistant Director.”

→ The St. Regis Longboat Key Is Hiring Across Departments! Browse Positions at the Soon-to-Open Florida Resort

“There’s nothing like the thrill of laying the foundation and setting the ground rules the new hotel will run on,” says Lana of being part of a pre-opening team. “[We] have the opportunity to be creative, set a positive tone and lead by example.”

st. regis longboat key hiring manager profile - lana

Courtesy of Lana K.

During this pre-opening phase, Lana is focused on local and international recruitment as well as setting up the rules and best practices regarding all things HR. Keep reading to learn more about her experience living in Sarasota’s most coveted barrier island and preparing a St. Regis resort ahead of its much-anticipated opening.

When you’re interviewing talent for your team, what do you look for most?

We always do STAR interviews to understand the situation, action and results [the candidates share]. It helps to see core behaviors and personality traits. We look for someone who is enthusiastic about service, adaptable, personable, with good communication and problem-solving skills.

What advice do you have for those interested in working at the new resort?

If you are passionate and hard-working, ready to go beyond and create exquisite bespoke experiences every day, apply today!

How would you describe the culture being cultivated at this new hotel?

The culture we’re creating is unique, because everyone is new and brings their vast experience in luxury making it unparalleled. We are a small team and so excited for the project! Everyone is super motivated to curate experiences, bring new levels of luxury and provide bespoke services.

What is the most challenging thing about being part of a pre-opening team?

The most challenging thing is to allow for creativity and yet meet the deadlines and forecasts. To trust our decision while also being extra careful and selective. Setting the right tone and not letting anything fall through the cracks or avoiding any of the processes is not set efficiently from the get-go.

st. regis longboat key hiring manager profile - lana

Courtesy of Lana K.

Tell us about the special events that pre-opening associates get to take part in.

We are in the preparation stages for exciting new ways to do recruitment mixers, set up new collaborations with local partners and there will be the actual “Countdown” events for the opening.

What’s one unexpected experience you’ve had being a part of this pre-opening?

Every day during pre-opening is unexpected. There is no checklist, you have to stay on track, continue brainstorming and making things happen as you truly don’t know how your day might go.

How do you train associates when the hotel isn’t open?

We are focused on global brand training and really understanding the brand in our new location. After opening it will be more focused on the associates and their training.

What is the pre-opening environment like?

It’s been magical to see how everything is coming together for our guests.