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Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me™ Bill Hurley, International Hotelier

publication date: Sep 4, 2012
author/source: HospitalityEducators.com Resources

Hotel Common Sense

Dr. John Hogan, CHA CHE CMHS     

Over the past several months, I focused much of my time and energy preparing a major training program for a national association and did not write many articles or blogs.  I appreciated the “welcome back” messages received from many readers on a column I posted recently on Observations on Hotel Safety and Security for Hospitality Brands and Hotel Management Companies.   

I am also pleased to be resuming my regular writing and blogs on a range of topics affecting hotels, hospitality businesses and their continuing success.

"Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me" includes interviews such as those found in our HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS,  and it also allows industry professional the opportunity to share their perspectives, values and opinions on additional areas and subjects that may not have been part of the planned discussion. 

Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me

Bill Hurley, International Hotelier

 President-Challenges Five (808) 738-7611 Honolulu, Hawaii http://www.challengesv.com/  www.linkedin.com/pub/bill-hurley/28/92/59b

In this article, we contacted Bill Hurley, President of Challenges Five in Honolulu, Hawaii.   Bill has had a distinguished career and impacted many hospitality professionals globally.  His career with Sheraton took him to senior management positions in the mainland and Hawaii, where he rose to become Managing Director for the brand’s main properties.  Bill has always challenged himself and he learned the Japanese language on his own, so he could better interact with international guests and hotel owners. Bill used this new communication skill and was successful in additional major assignments in Japan and Malaysia.

Bill has always been very involved in community service, including active roles as a Board and Executive Committee Member for a wide range of volunteer groups and as a Board Member for a number of state and regional Hotel Associations and Convention and Visitors Bureaus.   Bill has also served as an instructor at several colleges in industry related courses.


1.    Name your favorite hotel and why it is special to you -    

       It is difficult to choose between the Moana Surfrider in Honolulu and the Ritz Carlton in Osaka. I was fortunate enough to serve as the general manager at the Moana for several years in the early 90’s and clearly the years leading the Moana were the most memorable and enjoyable in my career. The staff at the hotel was outstanding and never failed to make every effort to share their aloha with the guests.

 The Ritz has been my home when in Osaka for many years and once again, the staff is what has made the hotel so special to me. Wonderful people, always doing their very best to serve and please.

 2.    Name your favorite restaurant and why it is special to you -  

A little izakaya in the Roppongi section of Tokyo named Kurosawa.

This is a tiny little restaurant off the main street that I absolutely have to visit at least several times when I get to Tokyo. The food is outstanding, but the gentleman that oversees the operation is what sets Kurosawa apart from the many wonderful restaurants in Tokyo. Walking in the door after a several year absence, he still remembers my face, my name, the table I like and the foods that enjoy and always makes me feel special and welcome.

 3.    Where do you vacation the most often?  

 Actually when not traveling for work I enjoy staying in my little condo in Honolulu. After living in Honolulu for a little over 20 years it still feels like a vacation every day.

 4.    Name your pet service peeve, why and any ideas you may have to address it. 

 I would say having to wait for a check at the end of a meal. All too often a nice dining experience can be somewhat spoiled when you have to wait and wait to get the check.

 5.    Who was the most important mentor in your life and why?  

Pat Birmingham.

 Pat served at the most senior levels of the Sheraton Corporation for a great many years and I was fortunate enough to report to Pat at several of my postings.

 He may have been the most demanding boss I ever reported to; actually there is no maybe involved. But as demanding as he was, he was also the most supportive and always made time and took the effort to help those around him grow and develop.

  6.    What is the one piece of advice you would offer to a graduating student with a hospitality degree?   

 Never forget the importance of people.

         Customers, employees, suppliers, never forget it is the people that make the difference.

·         Treat everyone with respect and dignity, and be loyal to those around you. They in turn will treat you with the same and be loyal to you and the organization you represent.

 7.    What is the one question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview today?                  

      How does your leadership style make you the right choice for the position we are discussing today?


Over the past 12 years or so, Bill created a parallel service while managing hotels.   These services address individual and organizational effectiveness with a focus on leadership and sales and have expanded to many organizations in many industries.

 Bill and I have just recently re-connected with his relocation back to Hawaii in spring of 2012.  I believe that the tools he has created within Excellence 24/7 and Challenges Five can   make a positive impact in many hospitality businesses and I wish him success. 

 This segment includes a wide range of hospitality professionals from all portions of the industry. We ask participants to answer at least five of the listed nine questions.  Their responses will interest, sometimes amuse and definitely inspire you to consider how YOU might answer.  Please contact me if you would like to participate in either a Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me™ or a HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS,   


 Success does not come by accident or chance.


We can help.



             Dr. John Hogan, Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE),

Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA),   Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS)

 John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of HospitalityEducators.com , which has more than 1600 resource pages and has become the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hospitality consulting and hotel expert witness services.


Contact us for assistance – John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com   602-799-5375   HoganHospitality.com :  john@hoganhospitality.com

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