Featured business person: Talia Firestone

06/21/2012 5:00 AM

06/21/2012 7:30 AM

TALIA FIRESTONE

General manager, SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Don’t let her fancy new title fool you, Firestone says.

On Tuesday she had her hair pulled back in a ponytail while she helped clean the hotel’s linen closet.

“We are preparing for a big order of linen to arrive,” she said. “That’s our job. We help in every department that’s necessary.”

Just before her promotion to general manager, Firestone won Go! Wichita’s 2012 manager of the year award for her work as assistant manager at Marriott’s Courtyard Wichita at Old Town.

“I think my general manager at the time wrote a really nice nomination for me,” Firestone said.

Modesty aside — she will “work every day all day if I need to” — Firestone tries to get to know her co-workers on a personal as well as professional basis. She’s also a stickler for following Marriott corporate policy.

“Anything that Marriott puts out there, I’m going to make sure we follow it because that’s how it’s supposed to be,” she said.

Firestone, 26, grew up in Emporia and moved to Wichita in 2006. She helped open the Courtyard Marriott and managed its coffee shop before moving to California to work for the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.

“It was fun, but my family’s here, so I wanted to get back closer to my family. Plus the assistant manager’s job was a really good opportunity. I’d opened (the hotel) and it has a special place in my heart.”

Firestone has a 9-month-old son and is engaged to be married this month, “so I spend most of my time with my son and fiance,” she said.

She has a family connection to Marriott as well. Her father, Lea Firestone, is vice president and chief operating officer of AG Holdings, which owns four area Marriotts.

“I kind of liked seeing what he did,” she said of the hotel business. “I took a shot at it and liked it.”

Joe Stumpe

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