March 13, 2013
Westin Wednesday: Al Saunders
by Anna DeLeo
Westin Wednesdays: Meet the Team
Our associates are the heartbeat of the hotel. We take immense pride in the service we provide and dedicate bi-weekly Wednesday posts to the associates who make it all happen!
Meet: Al Saunders
Al Saunders is one of the original employees who started at the hotel in July 1983. Technically, he worked here before we even existed – Al was part of a team who laid the bricks for the building during construction in 1981 and 1982.
In addition to construction in 1981, Al worked the bar at Lombardo’s alongside his best friend Anthony. When Anthony scored an interview at the hotel before opening, he brought Al along and they were both hired on the spot. Al started as a bartender at Turner Fisheries and worked his way up to head bartender. A reorganization in the early 1990’s brought an opportunity to work in the back of the house as the Assistant Executive Steward. It was in this position that Al learned the inner workings of a hotel. A much different experience from bartending, yet was integral to his success, as it allowed him to see how all the pieces – back of the house and front of the house – came together to deliver flawless service to guests.
Al knew though, that his destiny was working the bar, interacting with guests. A man with a warm smile and quick joke, he can make anyone feel instantly comfortable. He moved back to the front of the house, this time as bartender in the lobby lounge where he met a few celebrities, and then as a head bartender with the banquets team. He was right – it was the perfect place for him and he’s been serving our guests ever since. One thing Al enjoys most is his “regulars”, the guests with groups who book repeating events with us, that even though he only sees them once a year, always seems to recall their favorite drink and what they spoke of the year prior.
Al’s one of 4 full time bartenders, a team of “brothers” who consider each other family. He’s worked with some of them for over 30 years and have seen each other through thick and thin. In Al’s words, “working at the Westin Copley Place rarely feels like ‘working’. When you work with great people, you enjoy coming to work every day.”
Al’s dedication, continual quest for excellence and ability to anticipate the needs of guests fit perfectly with Westin’s core values: personal, instinctive, renewal and we’re proud to have him on our team.