fbpx

Meet Frontdesk: Senior Logistics Project Manager

Meet Megan Buckles, the Senior Logistics Project Manager at Frontdesk. Megan started with Frontdesk in December 2019 and has worn many hats at the company since her start date. She has exemplified our core value of “owning it” by persevering through challenges and our core value of “growth mindset” by always being willing to take on new roles. In her free time, Megan enjoys watching TV shows and movies, traveling and learning more about cooking and health goals. She is also a big fan of “treat yourself” so she spends time pampering herself with massages, facials, and infrared saunas. 

Tell me about your role and what you do here at Frontdesk?

I’m Megan Buckles, originally from Spokane, Washington.

I’m the Senior Logistics Project Manager at Frontdesk. I’d say it’s a unique role here at FD. I’ve been living as a nomad, minimalist, going on my third year. Nomad, meaning I live full-time on the road traveling city to city by truck across America. Everything I own travels with me.

On my travels, I’m asked the question a lot “what do you do for work?” I have several responses. Sort response, I stage Airbnb vacation rentals. I have noticed most people are familiar with the term Airbnb. Also, most assume I’m an ‘interior designer’ which is a component of my job but there is much more to it.

In more detail, I plan out A-Z logistics of empty apartments and I make sure ‘you’ as a guest can stay in the apartment for one night or six months. I purchase and coordinate installs with movers and various vendors. Also, I schedule internet and photography. My purchases include all furniture, decor, and supplies. Every project is different. But overall the same goal. Which is producing a livable and inviting space for our guests under budget and in a timely manner.

My role with Frontdesk has evolved over the years. In the most recent year, I have added Move-outs nationwide. I coordinate and communicate remotely for any apartment we are moving out of in any city. Moveouts lead to an increase in our inventory and my team and I try to keep track and repurpose/donate as much as we can for any upcoming projects.

As Frontdesk continues to grow and develop. I hope my role evolves and I continue to see more of our beautiful country.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I do love the travel aspect. I enjoy the autonomy I have and the innovation and creativity of my role. The before and after product feels like an accomplishment every time even if the project is 1 apartment or 20 apartments.

What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?

I actually started my Airbnb staging career with a company called Stay Alfred, they were based in my hometown, Spokane. I worked for them for two years flying to different states for various projects. So, when the opportunity came up with Frontdesk it was a clear career choice.

Prior to my Airbnb staging life. I worked for Greystar property management. I learned that corporate work wasn’t in alignment with my skill sets and the start-up world I found matched my strengths.

In my early college years, I studied multimedia communications and public relations. I wanted to be a broadcaster and work for the entertainment industry. My dream was to be a television talk show host. I find interviewing to be such an art. But my life had other plans and I suppose it’s never too late.

What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?

I think adaptability. After 4 months of traveling for Frontdesk 2020 lockdown hit. I was in Des Moines, Iowa and I had to become the City Manager. Fun fact: Iowa has more pigs than people. I had to make sure I was available for anything. I’m so happy Frondesk survived that time. I learned a lot about myself during that time.

What advice would you give to others in your role?

Do what makes you happy in any role you have. When stress is high remember it’s only apartments.

People that are a part of our Development team remember you’re a do-er and you gotta get it done. Explore, even when you don’t love a city or place there’s always something new to experience and fun to be had.

What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?

How often things change and how every person and department is a valuable resource to Frontdesk’s success.

What is your favorite Frontdesk city?

Surprisingly, I enjoyed Cincinnati. I think it’s rad you can walk across a bridge and be in Kentucky. Lots of cave tours and kayaking. Lots of great dive bars and restaurants.

I think everyone should experience New Orleans. I did a swamp tour I’ll never forget. I fed Crocodiles marshmallows haha. The city has an undeniable energy. Music, food, and so much fun!

Bucket list place to visit?

I’ve had a passion for travel at a young age. I don’t have many US states left but Alaska is at the top of the list. I want to be immersed in the Alaskan beauty that I’ve heard so much about.

I do have more international travel experiences ahead of me. A few I’m manifesting are Egypt, Bali, and Italy.

Best Hikes Near Frontdesk Cities

In honor of National Trails Day on June 4th, we’ve rounded up our favorite hiking trails in Frontdesk cities. Hiking is a great way to get outdoors and explore new cities you travel to or find a new appreciation for the city you live in. National Trails Day is a great excuse to bring your family and friends along for a hike and experience the benefits of the great outdoors together!

Camelback Mountain- Phoenix, AZ

Arizona is known for its beautiful desert scenery and rocky terrain. You can’t visit Phoenix without spending time outdoors, challenging yourself against nature! Located just 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix, Camelback Mountain is one of Phoenix’s best hikes and most popular attractions. The 2 different trails to the top both lead to 360-degree views of the city.

Trading Post Trail- Denver, CO

This short, 1.4-mile loop is just 25 minutes from downtown Denver and is considered an easy hike accessible for the whole family! The trail loops around Colorado’s Red Rocks Park and famous amphitheater and takes you around 10 of the park’s giant red rock formations.

Mount Bonnell- Austin, TX

Photo Courtesy of Mount Bonnell Facebook Page

Take a hike up Mount Bonnell for the best views of Austin! This short hike is one of the highest points in Austin at 781 feet. The trail is free to access and even offers free parking!

Crowders Mountain- Charlotte, NC

A short 45 minute drive from Charlotte brings you to Crowders Mountain State Park. The park offers two peaks- The Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain. The park offers several trails ranging from moderate to hard but the views are worth it!

Tucson Mountain Park- Tucson, AZ

These 360 views are just a short 15-minute drive from our Tucson suites! Tucson Mountain Park offers approximatley 62 miles of non-motorized trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

Rocky River Reservation- Cleveland, OH

This scenic park encompasses over 5,600 acres and 9 easy hiking trails that are fun for the whole family! The Rocky River Reservation trails are the perfect place near Cleveland to hike, run, and see wildlife. 

Photo Courtesy of Rocky River Reservation Facebook Page

Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve- Milwaukee, WI

Photo Courtesy of Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve Facebook Page

Only 30 minutes from Frontdesk Milwaukee stays, Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve offers the best views of Lake Michigan. This 73-acre park offers plenty of hiking trails, boardwalks through the wetlands, and stairways down to walk along the lake shoreline.

Meet Frontdesk: HR Generalist

Meet Cassie Wester, Frontdesk’s HR Generalist. Since starting at Frontdesk in June 2021, Cassie has been consistently demonstrating all of Frontdesk’s core values. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new places with her family. Cassie and her family recently moved from Wisconsin to Texas and are keeping busy seeing all that Texas has to offer!

Tell me about your role and what you do here at Frontdesk?

My title is HR Generalist. I help in many different areas to support the day-to-day operations of HR which include recruiting, onboarding, supporting manager’s needs, employee relations, a little bit of payroll, etc.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

No two days are ever the same, I never know what will come my way.

What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?

I’ve been in the human resources field for the last 7 years, most recently to Frontdesk, I worked at a publishing/media company, manufacturing, and home health. The remote opportunity caught my attention, then learning about Frontdesk being a startup intrigued me. Finally, after interviewing and learning more, I was hooked and the rest is history.

What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?

How to create a work/life balance. I can’t say I quite have it down yet but still a work in progress. Also, the experience of working for a start-up is nothing like I’ve experienced before. There is always work to be done and processes that need revising, never a dull moment!

What advice would you give to others in your role?

Take it one day at a time, we are on an amazing journey and our future is looking brighter than ever.

What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?

The support I found within a remote company. Considering most of us are not in the same city, or have met each other face to face, there is always someone (often many people) willing to help with a project or answer a question: they are also there to celebrate ‘wins’ big or small.

What is your favorite Frontdesk city?

I’m going to have to say Chicago, there are just so many memories that will always be near and dear to my heart that happened in Chi. My recommendation would be to go check out the museums and/or Shedd Aquarium.

Bucket list place to visit?

Colombia! Dear friends of mine live just outside of Bogotá and I’ve always wanted to visit them and explore their country and culture.

Meet Frontdesk: Compliance Coordinator

Meet Toye Coxe, Frontdesk’s Compliance Coordinator. Toye has been owning her role and showing her growth mindset since starting with Frontdesk 6 months ago. In her free time, she likes to catch up with and hang out with her friends, watch movies, and go antique shopping. 

Tell me about your role and what you do here at Frontdesk?

I am the Compliance Coordinator. I research information for the sales team, Partner Success Managers, and the company as a whole to stay on top of regulations such as taxes, permits, and ordinances; apply for and renew applications for short-term rentals and monthly-term rentals.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy getting to know how everything works. Each city/state is different and that brings a whole new perspective.

What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?

I worked in real estate in title and mortgages. I had always wanted to get into compliance. With Frontdesk, I brought together my experience with real estate and my skills in researching information.

What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?

Being able to make sure that the information received/provided is not only correct but up to date. This could take several attempts in some cases.

What advice would you give to others in your role?

To be patient, diligent, and have a little tenacity to achieve the overall goals for the teams and the company as a whole.

What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?

How fast the company is growing.

What is your favorite Frontdesk city?

I haven’t traveled as much as I would prefer, but hope to be able to one day.

Bucket list place to visit?

Almost all things Italy. Pompeii is at the top along with a lot of countryside villages. I’ve always been drawn to Italy for some unknown reason. I look forward to the day that I can visit.

Meet Frontdesk: Distribution Manager

For this edition of Meet Frontdesk, we spoke with Ben Hill, Distribution Manager. Ben started at Frontdesk in June of 2021 as a Distribution Specialist and has since been promoted for owning it and having a growth mindset. When he’s not working, you can find Ben traveling or spending time outdoors. He often spends his weekends making an impromptu road trip and loves to spend as much time as possible in the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina in the summers rafting, hiking, and camping.

Tell me about your role and what you do here at Frontdesk?

I’m the manager for the Distribution Department of Marketing at Frontdesk.  My team is responsible for creating all of the listings for new units; collecting all of the pictures and information about the building, doing research on the neighborhood and transportation options, and putting together the public face of our business on our direct site and all of the other platforms.  We also create all of the individual Scout pages for our guests, working with our team members on the ground to provide a smooth check-in and check-out experience for our guests.  

Additionally, we handle all of the maintenance for the product mentioned above: everything from move outs and photo reshoots to policy changes/updates, Scout instruction changes, amenity removals/additions, parking/towing warnings, construction updates, and every single other little thing you can think of that might need to be included (and about a million others you might not think of!)  Sometimes these updates are to a few units and sometimes they’re to the entire 700+unit portfolio.  Our computer mice probably have a couple hundred thousand miles on them!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Having a direct impact on our guest experience!  It may sound like I’m a glutton for punishment, but I do miss the relationships I used to build one-on-one with my customers in my previous sales roles.  Helping to mold the way our Scout instructions are created and having a hand in making those first impressions is a great way for those of us behind the scenes to make our guests feel welcome!

What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?

Prior to Frontdesk, I had a long career in retail management, working in everything from mattresses and shoe stores to kids and luxury apparel. A few years before the pandemic, I left that industry to start my own business being an online retailer and, while initially something I wanted to pursue, 2020 put a nail in that one pretty quick.  20 years of no weekends off and working 50-60 hour weeks wasn’t something I wanted to go back to, so I started exploring remote gigs where I could use my experiences and happened to see a post from an old high school buddy, Jenn Mason-Cammorato, about this awesome STR company she worked for…

What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?

The average person has absolutely no way to even BEGIN to comprehend the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes of an STR organization!!!

What advice would you give to others in your role?

Organization, organization, organization.  Sync those calendars, set those reminders, flag and notate and all that jazz – things go a mile a minute around here and it’s easy to let something go in one ear and out the other!

What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?

I was genuinely concerned about what it would be like to work for a company where most everyone worked remotely.  I have been most surprised by the overwhelming amount of teamwork I’ve witnessed in my short time with the company and am inspired by watching everyone get all of this work done from so many different places!

What is your favorite Frontdesk city?

I live in one!  Atlanta has been home to me for 7 years now and I’ve fallen in love with this crazy place.  Despite being a huge, sprawling metropolis, the city has more trees than a lot of places I’ve lived. Visitors to the city have to check out the Beltline – a repurposed railroad track that encircles the city that is now a bike/pedestrian path winding past the area’s coolest new breweries, art galleries, restaurants, and outdoor events.  Try to stick to walking and using the train though – most people would rather cut their arm off 127 Hours style than spend more than 5 minutes on the 18-lane-wide nightmare that is I-75/85.

Bucket list place to visit?

Japan!  I’ve always been fascinated by the history, culture, and architecture of the region and while there are still plenty of other places on my list, this one’s right at the top.  My partner and I are currently in the early stages of planning a train tour of the country sometime later next year!

Dive Into Minneapolis

Meet our guest bloggers: Ellie & Owen

This post is coming to you straight from our cozy FrontDesk condo up high in the skyline of downtown Minneapolis. We’re Owen and Ellie, the cliff diving couple. Yes you read that right,  we are both professional cliff divers on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Our job takes us all around the world to compete and we typically live in 2-3 different cities throughout the year. As much fun as it is to constantly move around, it makes traditional renting very difficult. After years of paying rent for an apartment we barely spent time in, we decided to put everything in storage and live more freely. When it was time to come back to Minneapolis for the winter months, we knew we wanted to live in the same building as before. Discovering Frontdesk was a breath of fresh air! It gave us the opportunity to live in a fully furnished apartment in our favorite building without the commitment of signing a long term lease. We are staying in the Churchill Apartments, where the Mississippi meets the city. With two balconies, we have a panoramic view of the river to our north and the skyscrapers to the south. Being back in the city during our off-season has given us the opportunity to explore the city in the winter. We have had a blast experiencing some of the best outdoor activities that Minneapolis has to offer! Here are the top 5 outdoor activities we have experienced over the last few weeks.

There aren’t many places in the country where the temperatures would allow expert sculptures to build a full size castle out of ice but Minneapolis is certainly one of them. Every year at the beginning of January they build an enormous castle with mazes, slides and archways. Adorned with hand-placed icicles that dangle overhead like a beautiful, winter chandelier, this castle is a must see! We took the opportunity to visit this frozen masterpiece and had a fantastic time climbing, sliding and exploring the site.

From man made ice sculptures to a natural frozen beauty, Minnehaha Park is home to a very unique waterfall. We have visited this park a couple times in the Summer to see the waterfall but going in the winter is an absolutely wild experience. The 60 foot high falls completely freezes over leaving an ice cave behind the falls that adventurous people can explore. It is a surreal experience to see such massive frozen icicles formed naturally and seeing time freeze in motion!

The winter Olympics are on and we love watching all the different sports on the TV. One that has always caught our eye is the ski jumping contest. How on earth do athletes know they can fly 500ft down a hill? Well the answer is they start very small indeed. We headed over to the St. Paul Ski Club for a beginner experience. The smallest hill is called the k-10 and it is designed for even the most beginner skiers to have fun and experience a half second of flying. We strapped on some skis and headed for the slopes. It may not be a big jump but it was still thrilling to feel the freedom of flight. The club is family run with 4 generations of jumpers going out to jump each week.

Minnesota is famously named the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’ and in the winter they become the “Land of 10,000 frozen lakes!”. We visited Centennial Lake in Edina, one of the largest lakes in the Twin Cities area providing 50 acres of ice to explore. We had an awesome time skating around and trying out some new tricks.

Yes, you heard it correctly… there is a World Snow Sculpting Championship. The best snow artists from around the world gather to compete for the ultimate prize of being the champions of sculpting. This year the event was held in Stillwater, a cute little town on the edge of the Twin Cities. Of course, we headed over to see the action! 12 teams from 5 countries entered the event with the Canadians coming out on top. The sculptures were truly amazing and we were amazed at the artistry. Hats off to all the participants!

Bonus activity- Shop with SkyWay

One of the coolest things about the city of Minneapolis is the Skyway System. This is a series of footbridges that link buildings together in the city. It is the largest contiguous system of enclosed, second-level bridges in the world—composed of 9.5 miles of pathways connecting 80 city blocks. Basically, you can walk around the entire city without ever stepping outside! This makes restaurants, shopping, and other activities easily accessible by foot without having to spend hours outside in freezing temperatures. The first time we came to Minneapolis there was a polar vortex weather system that made the air -43 degrees, yet you could still walk around the city in shorts and t-shirts through the skyway bridges!

Planning a trip to Minneapolis? Stay Frontdesk.

Meet Frontdesk: Strategy & Operations Manager

This month, we’re featuring Alexis Eason, Strategy & Operations Manager, for Meet Frontdesk. Alexis has been with Frontdesk since November 2019 and has taken on many roles since then. Alexis demonstrates Frontdesk’s core values all day, every day! From cleaning the toilets, to doing the right thing, being a good neighbor, wowing our guests, owning it, and having a growth mindset. When she’s not working, Alexis loves to cuddle up to a good movie and unlimited snacks!

Tell me about your role and what you do here at Frontdesk?

I am a Strategy & Operations Manager here at Frontdesk. I collaborate with our city management and guest experience team to provide support and guidance for our on-the-ground operations. My time here on the ops team started a few years ago as the City Manager of our Jacksonville and Atlanta market. From there my journey continued on to becoming a Traveling Launch & Training manager where I had the opportunity to explore different markets and launch new ones. Today, as an ops leader, one of my goals is to continue Frontdesk’s legacy of recognizing and developing exceptional talent from within and inspiring growth!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Having the opportunity to collaborate with some truly incredible leaders to continue to innovate and problem solve this ever-evolving industry. 

What were you doing before Frontdesk?

Prior to Frontdesk, I was working in operations and client success.

What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?

My biggest learning experience at Frontdesk was at the beginning of 2020 when the reality of the pandemic’s impact came to fruition. I learned that the true value of one’s leadership is not in the success or accomplishments of one’s team but rather in the endurance and resilience of their work.

What advice would you give to others in your role?

Frontdesk is made up of some really incredible people so take advantage of getting to know one another! It makes it so much easier to get through difficult problems when you have an uplifting relationship with your coworkers.

What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?

How exciting it would be! My time at Frontdesk has kept me on my toes for sure, but every new challenge has been a new opportunity to flex our critical thinking muscles!

What is your favorite Frontdesk city?

Atlanta because it’s home for me, but would definitely recommend visiting Lousiville! Our units are in such a fun part of the city.

Bucket list place to visit?

Such a tough one to narrow it down, but if it had to be a U.S. city it would probably be Denver! Which lucky for me is one of Frontdesk’s newest markets!

Explore Birmingham

Frontdesk is excited to show you around one of our newest cities: Birmingham, AL! Birmingham is a beautiful, thriving city set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Known for its delicious southern dining scene, talented music community, and historic events, there is something for everyone in Birmingham.

Neighborhoods

Downtown

Downtown Birmingham is lined with mid-to-high rise commercial buildings, lofts, condos, and stores. What was once an industrial area has now been renovated into retail shops and trendy restaurants.

Avondale

Avondale is a young, buzzing region of Birmingham filled with artisanal breweries, trendy coffee shops, live music, and eclectic restaurants. This neighborhood is a nightlife and entertainment hot spot!

Five Points South

Five Points South is known as a premier neighborhood and a culinary destination. This area has no shortage of fine dining, farm-to-table, and BBQ restaurants. Five Points South is also home to the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus and the city’s minor league baseball team.

What To Do

Photo Courtesy of Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum Facebook Page

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Whether you’re into motorcycles or not, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is worth a visit. Former Porsche racer, George Barber, began collecting and restoring bikes, which now is the museum that houses the world’s largest collection of motorcycles. The museum also exhibits vintage vehicles and sports cars and hosts many entertaining programs and festivals throughout the year.

Photo Courtesy of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Facebook Page

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Birmingham was at the center of the Civil Rights Movement which is why it is now home to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, a historical and interpretive museum founded in 1992. The goal of the institute is to educate future generations on Birmingham’s place in American history, as well as human rights issues. If you are looking to dive deeper into the history of the city, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institue is a must-see!

Photo Courtesy of Red Mountain Park Facebook Page

Red Mountain Park

If you’re looking for outdoor activities, visit Red Mountain Park for a 1,500-acre urban park with 15 miles of hiking trails, an off-leash dog park, and two overlooks. There are also activities for the adventure seeker, such as a ropes course through the trees, zip-lining, and the Kaul Adventure Tower, an 80-foot climbing structure.

Eats

Breakfast/Brunch

The Essential is the perfect brunch spot with a French bistro feel and a 10/10 menu. Their brunch menu consists of a variety of pastries, cocktails, and food items including quiche, breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast, eggs benedict, and so much more. This contemporary cafe offers both indoor and patio seating.

Lunch

Looking for the perfect lunch spot in Birmingham? Check out Avondale Common House! Avondale Common House features a deliciously southern palette of fresh, local produce and seafood. Their menu ranges from soups, salads, sandwiches, bowls, and more. They even have a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.

Dinner

Cafe Dupont is downtown Birmingham’s original farm-to-table restaurant. Serving classic southern flavors with a French twist. The dinner menus change daily to reflect the availability of seasonal ingredients so their dishes are always fresh and made with local ingredients.

Drinks

There are a variety of options to enjoy a drink in Birmingham. If you’re interested in tasting locally brewed beer, we recommend stopping by Avondale Brewing Company, which is known for its flagship Saison brew. Looking to enjoy craft cocktails? Try Juniper. Are you a wine drinker? Visit Aviné.

Best Way to Get Around

Getting around Birmingham is made easy with the MAX Transit system, which offers bus service to points of interest like the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) and the Birmingham Zoo. The Magic City Connector bus runs from north to south, Uptown to Downtown, stopping at places like City Hall, Linn Park, and the Vulcan Park and Trail. E-Bikes and Scooters are also available and can be found at docking stations downtown, North Birmingham, Five Points, and other close-by neighborhoods.

Meet Frontdesk: Marketing Manager

This month, we’re featuring Ashley Johnston, our Marketing Manager, for Meet Frontdesk. Ashley first started with Frontdesk as a Freelance Graphic Designer in 2017, when Frontdesk was only in Milwaukee. She was officially brought on in October 2019 as a Marketing Specialist and promoted to Marketing Manager in December 2020. Ashley continuously demonstrates Frontdesk’s core values of owning it and growth mindset by her willingness to jump in to help the team problem-solve with her creativity. In her free time, Ashley enjoys powerlifting, trying new brunch spots, hiking, crystals/rocks, and mudding. As a Colorado resident, she enjoys anything outdoors.

Tell me about your role and what you do here at Frontdesk?

I’m the Marketing Manager here at Frontdesk. My role consists of a vast variety of tasks including but not limited to: managing our creative team, graphic design, content creation, email layouts, editing, website development, marketing support for our boots on the ground, and reputation management. Chances are if you see an ad, graphic, or presentation from Frontdesk, it was likely designed by me.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

As Marketing Manager, I’m in a unique position where I’m able to connect with quite literally all of our teams and a majority of the people who work here. I enjoy being the “middle-person” between teams – it helps me understand how different teams operate and how Frontdesk operates as a whole. There’s definitely a bond at Frontdesk that I’ve never seen anywhere else and that’s special to me.

What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?

This is a fun one. I worked with Jesse, one of Frontdesk’s Co-Founders, for a few years at an energy management company as the Marketing Coordinator, Graphic Designer & UI Lead – we ended up at a trade show together and that’s when he told me about the idea of Frontdesk and asked if he could reach out when they had marketing needs. 

Low and behold, he quit to start Frontdesk with Kyle and Ruthie, and contacted me a few months later. At the time when he contacted me, I had quit my job in the corporate world and was focusing on my Freelance Graphic Design business and was in the process of my 2nd interview as the Denver Broncos Graphic Designer. Frontdesk became one of my main clients and ended up providing me with so much work that I joined the team and turned down working for the Broncos. The rest is history from there.

What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to ask for help when you need it and to not be ashamed to ask for said help – everyone here seems to be so willing to go out of their way to help when and where they can. 

Simply put, the people who matter, whether that’s teammates or people in your personal life, they will be there for you when you need it most.

What advice would you give to others in your role?

  1. There is no such thing as a stupid question, ask ALL the questions.
  2. Mistakes and failures are learning lessons, so don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. 
  3. Lastly, always put your mental health and well-being first. That’s one of the things I love most about Frontdesk: these things are a top priority. Don’t feel bad for taking time off to readjust/needing a break. In fact, take as much time as you need so you can come back feeling 110% better.

What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?

How fast we grew! I’m one of the few individuals who has gotten to see Frontdesk start from ground zero and wow, it shocks me almost every day. And not just the growth in the number of cities or units we’ve expanded to, but the growth in employees and overall growth in individuals, including myself.

What is your favorite Frontdesk city?

Milwaukee, because it’s my hometown. My ancestors are part of the reason Milwaukee exists today. 

I highly suggest strolling the riverwalk and trying some of the restaurants directly off of it. If you have the time, take a boat cruise on the river/Lake Michigan – it’s an awesome experience and the skyline views from the lake alone are worth it. If you have the opportunity to visit during Open Doors Milwaukee, go everywhere possible! You get to check out the history and see the insides of places you wouldn’t likely go to, for free!

Bucket list place to visit?

Hands-down: Scotland. A good majority of my ancestors came from Scotland and I’d love to learn more about my heritage and see where they came from.

Meet Frontdesk: Online Travel Agent Manager

For this edition of Meet Frontdesk, we sat down with Ellie Callahan, Online Travel Agent Manager. Ellie started at Frontdesk in November 2019 and has since taken on many different roles. Since beginning at Frontdesk, Ellie has continuously demonstrated her growth mindset and doing the right thing. When she’s not working, Ellie enjoys working out, traveling, yoga, photography, dancing, and singing.

Tell me about your role and what you do here at Frontdesk?

Since November of 2019, I’ve been part of the online travel agent team at Frontdesk, where I’ve focused my time on providing exceptional service. I was so blessed to move up to Senior Online Travel Agent in September of 2020 and was most recently promoted to Online Travel Agent Manager in April of 2021. I directly manage a team of online travel agents. We assist with pre-stay, in-stay, and post-stay hospitality and customer service. We work with 6+ completely different platforms. I help resolve guest escalations and coach the team.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Helping people. Whoever I talk to, I want to make sure when I’m done with the conversation, they have a smile on their face. I want to help people enjoy their experience with Frontdesk.

What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?

Prior to this role, I went to college for science. I received an associates degree in applied science. I also worked in a very large physical therapy facility where I spent 3 years as the director of marketing. I focused on building physician relationships, branding, sponsorships, and direct advertising.

 I started out at Frontdesk working 7 days a week and I just had to leave my other job because I loved working remotely in such a tight-knit team. I’ve always been a working mom and staying at home has really helped my children in a positive way.

What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?

As the OTA manager, I have established a commitment to customer service, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to manage a growing team, and the ability to solve guests escalations. I am all about hospitality and delivering the best experience possible for our guests. I’ve learned the ins and outs of the hospitality industry and I love it!

What advice would you give to others in your role?

Be patient and empathetic. Days can be hard and frustrating and feel nonstop but at the end of the day remember you are in customer service. Never stop caring for people.

Participate in meetings and take lots of notes! You can never have enough notes!

What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?

OTA is so unique because no two platforms are the same. It really is a huge learning experience being on the other side of the platforms. I still get surprised because you honestly learn something new every day.

What is your favorite Frontdesk city?

I LOVED Louisville. The East Jefferson apartments were really cool. Two balconies and a rooftop? Who doesn’t love city night views?

Bucket list place to visit?

Santorini, Greece because of the Luxury whitewashed houses with extraordinary views to Aegean Sea, mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets and a wide range of romantic activities!