I received a call in December alerting that the iconic and all-knowing Mr. Edward V. Staros, vice president and managing director of Ritz-Carlton Resorts, Naples, in Florida, was about to retire.
I could not call him; I would not allow myself to acknowledge that one of the few giants in both the fields of hospitality and diversity was retiring, unplugging, and as we say down south — going fishing!
Mr. Staros has been with The Ritz-Carlton since its inception in 1983 and is one of the company’s founding fathers. In fact, he was instrumental in creating the now-legendary gold standards of The Ritz-Carlton. His philosophy is emphasized best in an interview with business guru Joseph Mechelli: “We were driven by producing something consistently excellent,” a mantra for his personal life as well.
He mentored, advocated for, taught, and helped mold the Odyssey Business Retreat’s success. As a result of his mentoring and help, Odyssey Media has consistently chosen The Ritz-Carlton as its home 13 for our 20 Signature Business Retreats. And we will return this year.
He was a true mentor — he was simply helping a black female CEO understand the industry, trends in hospitality, and most importantly, the ins and outs on how to put on a world-class event. He appointed Lori Frino early in her career to shepherd us through the process, and it turned out to be magic. He understood the need to promote women both internally and externally.
Congratulations, Mr. Staros on your award, Hotelier Of The World — 2019. Thank you for your support, mentoring, and commitment to women and clients of all races and backgrounds. We are going to really miss you.