As executive vice president & general manager of The Breakers Palm Beach, Tricia Taylor holds a pivotal leadership role for this complex, multi-faceted resort operation — a one-of-a-kind, luxury lifestyle destination.
Continually raising the standards of excellence in quality and service, Taylor focuses on all aspects of the guest experience — from the initial point of reservations to the moment a guest departs — to making positive, lasting impressions. Her wide-ranging responsibilities consist of leading the property’s four operating divisions (Rooms, Food & Beverage, Event Services and Recreation), as well as support departments including Marketing, Revenue Management and Security. Her business units include 1,800 associates that Taylor takes pride in caring for.
Taylor believes that an outstanding guest experience starts with hiring the right additions to The Breakers family of fully engaged team members. To fulfill the resort’s mantra, “hire for attitude, train for skill,” she concentrates on recruiting and retaining the best people who are motivated, honest, team-oriented and capable; nourishing them with gratitude, and focusing on the consistent improvement of service and product. This strategy for creating an inspired workplace is the force behind Taylor’s efforts to drive guest satisfaction. To that end, she constantly challenges operational thinking and processes to devise new ways to support employee fulfillment, wellbeing and performance. "We want to put each and every one of our team members in the right jobs that tap their strengths, and to continually enrich them with opportunities to professionally develop, expand their capabilities and skill set, and personally grow and learn," she says. "It is so rewarding to offer paths that not only help team members reach their goals, but make their journey worthwhile."
Taylor's ongoing commitment to support team member training, education and development has served The Breakers well. She believes that by investing in the resort’s 2,200-plus associates on a multitude of levels, they are encouraged to reach their greatest potential and enjoy an enhanced quality of life for the long term (many have worked at the company for more than a decade). In turn, this highly fulfilled workforce sustains the world-class and genuinely caring environment that inspires loyal guests to return year after year, and ultimately drives the company’s success.
Among the myriad enrichment programs and initiatives that Taylor advocates (and takes the greatest pride in), are those that positively impact the health, well-being and work/life balance of team members…from Corporate Athlete programs that teach rituals for optimal energy management and physical, mental, emotional and spiritual engagement; Breakthrough to Energy sessions that focus on practical nutrition and fitness strategies; the weekly Green Market offering locally sourced produce to employees; to on-site fitness classes, the annual Wellness Expo and back-up care programs.
Taylor's passion for the hotel business was passed down from her grandparents, who built, owned and operated two motels in Seattle, Washington. From a young age, Taylor and her older sister were given a variety of jobs in those motels, from cleaning rooms to stocking the vending machines. What she learned was the value of hard work and making yourself proud for it. She also discovered that she had a natural affinity for a career dedicated to service.
After high school, Taylor was faced with the decision between entering the hospitality industry, like her grandparents, or following in the footsteps of her mother and sister, who are teachers. Taylor chose hotel management, and upon graduating in 1995 with honors from Cornell University's renowned School of Hotel Administration, Taylor began her career at one of New York's great hotels, the Waldorf-Astoria. There she started as a housekeeping manager as part of Hilton's Management Training Program. Less than a year later, she left that iconic property when she was recruited away by another landmark: The Breakers.
Taylor first joined The Breakers in 1996 as an assistant executive housekeeper. Her career progressed through the Rooms Division, where she took on additional responsibilities every year. In 2002, she was promoted to hotel manager. That same year, Taylor successfully managed her demanding, full-time position while earning her Master's Degree in Business Administration with honors at Florida Atlantic University. In October 2010, Taylor’s title was changed to general manager to reflect her responsibility for all hotel operations and guest satisfaction. She was promoted to senior vice president in May 2015 and executive vice president in January 2019. She has served on the resort’s Executive Committee since 2001 and continues to report to the president and CEO of Flagler System Inc.
With an unceasing love of learning and ambition to teach, Taylor recognizes the importance of training the next generation of hotel professionals. She has enacted that commitment to pay it forward as a guest lecturer at Florida Atlantic University, University of Central Florida (UCF) and Cornell University, while also serving on the Advisory Board for UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management and as a coach for Cornell University's Leadership Development Program.
Serving outside of work comes naturally to Taylor, who actively supports educational initiatives for local hospitality college students, and engages in community service in Palm Beach County and beyond. Her most prized role that provides her with the greatest personal satisfaction, is mother to her two treasured daughters, and volunteering with their activities.
Taylor’s priorities and goals are clearly defined: to take care of her team at work, take care of her guests at The Breakers, and take care of her family.