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Meet Mary D’Argenis of MDA Hospitality in Miami Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary D’Argenis.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My career in the hospitality industry began at the happiest place on Earth, the Walt Disney Company. During high school, I applied for a summer job and was offered a position as a food and beverage hostess serving soft serve ice cream in Fantasyland. While I have always loved working, this experience unleashed my passion for the magic of entertaining and realizing happiness in others’ lives. After spending nearly 15 years with Disney, I moved to Miami Beach and had the privilege of working with iconic companies; from the Loews Miami Beach to opening the Four Seasons on Brickell. After serving as the Food & Beverage Operations Manager at the Mandarin Oriental, I spent 5 years at the Turnberry Isle as the Food and Beverage Director and then Director of Operations.

In 2014, I decided to focus on the areas I love most about the hospitality business, profit maximization and service excellence and created MDA Hospitality. MDA Hospitality partners with businesses to increase profits and service through training and operational support. MDA provides a strategic approach to business improvement and customizes outcomes based on the specific business needs.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has been very smooth. I can attribute the success to having created lasting partners in the industry and understanding the demands of the business. MDA captures the work often too difficult for leaders to devote enough time due to operational commitments. Examples include negotiating contracts, writing service standards, training and reviewing income statements, to name a few.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the MDA Hospitality story. Tell us more about the business.
MDA has a simple goal of maximizing profit and guest service through cost containment, leadership development and operational support. MDA partners with businesses by handling the necessary administrative functions that can become difficult to manage due to operational constraints. Examples include negotiating contracts, cost savings, training teams, developing training manuals and creating a sequence of service for operational efficiencies and increased guest service. I am most proud of the positive results provided to my clients. From significant cost savings on vendor services to increased efficiencies and exceptional guest service results. These statistics allow me to feel a sense of accomplishment about the service provided and the benefits businesses realize. MDA provides solutions and support for leaders and companies. MDA strives to create lasting partners with a strategic plan in mind.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I feel as if I have had so many at different points in my career. With the Walt Disney Company, I was recognized as the top 1% as a Partner in Excellence, scored above the WDW benchmark in Cast Leadership scores, and was a WDW Ambassador for the opening of the Animal Kingdom and Epcot’s Test Track. At the Turnberry Isle, we were named #1 in the Company for Staff Knowledge and Food & Beverage Creativity, jumped from #63 to tied for #10 in the Company for Meeting Satisfaction Index and steadily rose F&B profit to 42.5% over 3 years. In my personal business, I am humbled by the amazing experiences I have been offered from independent hoteliers to leading international hospitality companies, serving in Cartagena, Colombia, New Orleans, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Panama City, Florida.

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