Q: Did you have any mentors?

Yes, although I'm the kind of person to jump and do things on my own. Michael Crane gave me tremendous support and helped me to grow into the role of general manager. Another, former Delray mayor Jeff Perlman encouraged me to get involved in the community, which helped develop my leadership skills.

CHERI RUTLEDGE

West Palm Beach Marriott

352 rooms; 160 plus employees

Rutledge, 56, started in the hospitality business at 16 as a salad person in the kitchen of a country club, then moved into the restaurant and ended up studying hospitality management at Florida International University. Rutledge, who lives in Lake Worth, spent 15 years in Tampa as general manager for two hotels and has worked for Marriott for more than three decades. She sums up the experience like this: "It's been fun. It's great to be able to stay with the same company and be able to grow and get new jobs."

Q: What's it like to be a hotel general manager?

You make it what you want it to be and everyday is different, which is wonderful because you're never bored. Still there are tons of challenges. You're here to take care of the guest and the customer and so they bring their own set of expectations and you're here to meet them so that can present challenges and same with the associates. They have concerns …things going in their lives that you deal with too, so every day there's a different set of challenges.

Q: Name some key skills a general manager should have?

Good listening, communication and delegation skills are important.

Q: In the 24-7 hotel industry business, how do strike the balance between work and home life?

For me I have to schedule personal time, for example exercise, otherwise it gets swept away in the business.

Q: What will your legacy be?

Building great teams and then delivering great service is what I hope it would be.

asatchell@tribune.com, 954-356-4209 or Twitter@TheSatchreport.