- Photo by Anthony Jinson
General Manager, Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center
As general manager of Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center, Heather Hargrove’s job is all about people. “Whether we are talking about our team or our guests, it is my overall responsibility to ensure that all are happy,” to say nothing of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the hotel.
Heather says stepping out of her comfort zone by becoming general manager in 2010 is her proudest professional accomplishment because she was scared she couldn’t do it, but more scared of not growing and remaining stagnant.
Mentoring others seems to be a natural part of the job that Heather embraces. “There is no better feeling than watching, guiding, and advising a young woman who is growing personally and professionally as they’re just beginning their careers in the hotel industry,” Heather says.
Her big goal in 2020 is to invest more one-on–one time with her managers to answer “What is their why? What is your most important thing?” She says that will make everyone better by creating a system of accountability.
Doing a good job in her responsibilities each day keeps Heather motivated, citing that being passionate and invested is what it means to be a woman of excellence, “otherwise, why are you doing it?”
Owner, Ms. Kim’s Fish and Chicken Shack
“Family. If you’ve got family, you’re successful,” says Kimberly Perry, founder and owner of Ms. Kim’s Fish and Chicken Shack. This mother and grandmother has lots of family in her customers and employees after 15 years in business. “I have a lot of employees that call me mom,” she says. She employs many previously incarcerated people or those who’ve had a rough start in life and makes an intentional effort to help them identify something positive in their lives every day.
In 2020, Kimberly wants to take the restaurant to a new level by adding vegetarian or vegan options and by possibly opening additional locations. As far as being a Woman of Excellence, Kimberly says, “I don’t define myself as excellent or a woman of excellence because I’m still wanting to be better — I’m not there yet.”
Marketing Manager, FPC-Live (The Blue Note and Rose Music Hall)
“Being a woman of excellence means to work hard at the things you’re passionate about and to work toward continually bettering yourself and your community,” says Melina Loggia, the marketing manager for FPC-Live, where she handles all the marketing for The Blue Note and Rose Music Hall. She and her team coordinated Fortune Fest at Logboat Brewing Co. in August 2019, which celebrates entrepreneurs who are making a difference in Columbia.
She is a supporter of YAAL Rock, an organization that empowers girls and transgender youth to participate in the live music industry. Melina’s passion for live music is readily apparent — she calls it “magic” and says it possesses the power to uplift people and unite them. She says she has revamped her internship program to allow her to mentor interns more.
Melina’s biggest goal for 2020 is to finish her law degree from St. Louis University, where she’s been attending part-time for a few years.