Jennifer Lemche is the Rooms Manager for the West Coast Suites, Gage Apartments, Ponderosa Studios and the Pacific Spirit Hostel in Vancouver. She also manages rooms for major group, event and conference business that brings thousands of participants and delegates to the University of British Columbia Vancouver campus every year.
By Mike McGhee
COULD YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR ROLE WITH CONFERENCES AND ACCOMMODATION AT UBC?
I am one of two Rooms Managers for our hotel and hostel operations at UBC in Vancouver. My specific role is to manage the Reservations Office and Front Desk operations, oversee our winter and summer staff, and direct our guest services program.
WHICH OF YOUR DEPARTMENT’S TEAMS ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON-CAMPUS?
Our Housekeeping, Front Desk and Housestaff/Nightstaff departments are all still working on campus.
HOW HAVE THE HOTEL AND HOSTEL TEAMS’ WORK CHANGED SINCE COVID-19?
A lot of things have changed for the our hotel and hostel team over the last few months! May is usually a very busy month for us when we would be gearing up for our summer season, training our summer staff, opening up several front desks and welcoming a variety of groups and conferences to campus. This is usually a time when the office is buzzing with activity. Due to COVID-19, most of our team is working from home and we are only running the front desk at Gage. In addition to our quiet start to the summer, we have introduced physical distancing measures and enhanced cleaning protocols to ensure the safety of our staff and guests.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE PROVIDING SUCH IMPORTANT SERVICES TO HOTEL AND HOSTEL GUESTS DURING THIS TIME?
Conferences & Accommodations in Vancouver is a customer service-focused department and it is rewarding to know that we are providing a home away from home to those who need it, especially during these challenging times. We are also happy to be supporting our campus partners with accommodation and essential services.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR YOU AND YOUR STAFF HAVE BEEN DOING TO KEEP SPIRITS UP?
We continue to recognize the great work that our staff do everyday and acknowledge their commitment and dedication. We also have regular zoom meetings to stay connected and engaged with each other. Project work also keeps us busy and helps to improve our services and the guest experience.
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE US TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR TEAM?
We’re lucky to have such hard-working individuals who come in each day to provide an essential service and exceptional customer service to our valued guests!
Mike McGhee is the Communications and Marketing Specialist for Student Housing and Community Services for the University of British Columbia.