Innside TPI Newsletter

Winter 2019

Mitch Peterson

Mitch Peterson

Chief Executive Officer

TPI Hospitality

TPI continues healthy growth and change

Chief Executive Officer Mitch Peterson examines TPI’s past, present and future

Hello and “Seasons Greetings” to all!

Let me start by expressing my profound appreciation to each of you for all you do. Your combined efforts are what make TPI such a unique and highly regarded organization in our industry. As an example, in 2018, TPI was once again recognized as a top ten Best Places to Work by the MSP Business Journal. This recognition marks our sixth consecultive year of being in the top ten and is clearly something to be celebrated. In addition to this exceptional honor for TPI, Pete Bromelkamp was recognized as one of four Human Resources MVPs in acknowledgment of his efforts to create and cultivate an engaged workforce. We are extremely proud of this additional recognition for Pete, My compliments to all of you, and for the record, I am extremely proud to be associated with each and every one of you!

It was a year that reminded me that it’s difficult to grow up! We continue to transition from where we were, private business, to where we are now, being 100% employee-owned (ESOP). In addition, we also continue to learn what it means to be 100% employee-owned and how significantly being an ESOP influences our “go forward” business strategies. The future of the ESOP remains extremely bright, but I would put forth a cautionary note that we do have some challenges to work through in the next several years in order to maximize our share value. Actually, it wouldn’t at all surprise me if we go backward in share value in the near term in order to attain maximum share value in the years ahead.
Such as it is in life, sometimes you need to go backward in order to move forward in your efforts to maximize your potential. As you will read elsewhere in this newsletter, we remain committed to our original strategy of aggressive investment in new development along with a high level of reinvestment into our current properties. We stand by our original belief that this strategy will bear the highest return for TPI’s employee-owners, though it has become abundantly clear we must all maintain a profound sense of patience for this strategy to play itself out. Without getting into details, we must simply all be patient until our current investments have been built out, ramped up and “hitting on all eight cylinders”. All said, I remain convinced the outlook for the future of the ESOP looks extremely robust!

2018 was again another year of significant change for TPI. Though some of these changes have been challenging, they are all changes that we believe are necessary for TPI in order to flourish well into the future. The vast majority of the changes that reference, outside of our development activity, are in the areas of technology and leadership.

From a technology standpoint, we rolled out some new tools for the on-property teams to utilize in our ongoing efforts to maximize efficiency and productivity. 2018 was a year of “implementation”, including several new technology and productivity systems which continue to create new learning opportunities for all of us. Learning always creates challenges, some of which we can anticipate, and others we cannot. To that end, I appreciate everyone’s support as we work through the challenges, and I commend all who have had a hand in implementing these new tools. We look forward to leveraging them in 2019 and beyond, hopefully with the bulk of the learning behind us!

From a leadership standpoint, we have made several above-property changes. Earlier this summer, Joel Danko joined TPI as a VP of Hotel Operations. Joel has spent the last several months integrating with the teams and has quickly become a great addition to the Operations team, bringing a fresh look and a new set of eyes to the team. In addition, as we prepare for the upcoming new year, we have worked with Joel Danko and Joel Vogler to realign the properties they oversee. This new change in property responsibility will mean better oversight and support of all our metro properties and will allow a much higher level of collaboration across all teams and campuses. We expect to see many benefits from this realignemnt as we embark on this blended approach to property oversight. From a long-term, strategic standpoint, we continue to more fully develop our multi-year Succession Plan in an effort to ensure that TPI has the right leadership in place for many years to come. It’s difficult to admit, but we just aren’t as young as we used to be! As we cannot defy aging, we opted several years ago to plan for its many byproducts. The most recent step in this Succession Plan was about a year ago when I moved into the CEO position, being replaced by Jim Sega as the new Chief Operating Officer, while Tom Torgerson moved to the role as Chairman of the Board for TPI. As of the writing of this article, we continue to evolve the Succession Plan and should have more to report on our efforts as the futrue unfolds. It’s important for you to know that the work we are doing today will ensure that TPI has the most effective leadership in place to leverage the maximum return for our ESOP well into the future!

As I look ahead into 2019, I see a tremendous number of reasons to be optimistic. We have made some great strides with both our sales efforts and our profitability this past year and I expect us to leverage those advancements in 2019. We do have some indications of inflation on the horizon, which if accurate, will support our ability to grow our rates/pricing and stay ahead of the many cost increases we face as a result of a robust economy. Lastly, I have an expectation that we will leverage what we have learned this past year in ways that will ultimately make us a better employer. In the end, we cannot control what happens around us (i.e., the economy or labor market), but we can control what we do within our four walls. Our attention needs to be placed on taking care of what we have, and continuing to make it better. In the end, each of us must choose to make a difference and discover more ways to take care of each other. It’s our heritage, it’s who we are!
Happy Holidays and many blessings in the coming year!

Mitch Peterson