William Becker is the newly named vice president of Food and Beverage at Graton Resort & Casino in Sonoma. He oversees all food, beverage and restaurant facilities at the 65-acre resort. Learn about William Becker…
Hometown: Newbury Park, CA
First job: Roofer and dishwater.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: Cycling and motorcycles.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: This was not the biggest, but it was one of the most rewarding. I was sent to Dubai for two months to recruit for a resort property. In a single day, I interviewed candidates from 23 different countries…I did count. In many cases, we didn’t even speak the same language, but we managed to communicate. In many cases, I interviewed engineers, spa attendants, front office candidates, many jobs I knew very little about, but we were able to connect. But, the one thing that was common with most of the interviews was listening to their stories and how they ended up so far away from their home countries. It was one of the most gratifying experiences to award folks full-time positions that had very little means and whose families depended on their income to be sent back home to support the family. Pretty heartwarming.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Amazon Web Services: My Las Vegas team catered a three-season series of events including the finale the final year for 35,000 guests. This required four full-service outdoor kitchens, 300 culinarians, 80 bartenders, 200 servers and 60 stewarding team members. It was an overwhelming task that required a 74-page play book and months of preparation. The team nailed it!
Someone who inspires you and why: I am a big fan of comedy and comedians. It takes a lot of courage to get up on stage and make people laugh. Over the years, I have developed my favorites and have sort of adopted my own style of inspirational public speaking using phrases, themes and timing from their performances. My favorite of all time…George Carlin. He was a brilliant entertainer.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Not every job is glamorous, learn to do them all without prejudice. Don’t take shortcuts and don’t be selfish with your time. Our business is very competitive; every serious competitor needs an advantage. Work in a foreign market, work for a brand name, do charity work, develop your network, work harder than everyone else!
Favorite quote: “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. Improvise, Improve, Innovate, don’t get stale.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I aspire to design and build an art structure to exhibit in a Burning Man event.
What makes someone fabulous: Someone who loves what they are doing always looks fabulous when they are doing it! Fabulous moments pieced together make fabulous memories.