“I had a nice childhood. I grew up in the city of Düsseldorf, Germany, which is on the Rhine river. Being an only child, we had a small immediate family, but we always made sure we were surrounded by people. We entertained a lot, traveled a lot, went on trips with other people, and the memories I have from that were never dull or boring. When I was 15, I applied to spend a year abroad as an exchange student, and ended up doing so in 1986-87. I thought I was going to end up in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, but I ended up in Indiana, in a very small town called North Manchester. I spent a year there—it was a lovely experience and benefited me greatly. I went back to Germany and finished high school there, and then wanted to enter into a business that would allow me to ultimately move back to the U.S. Hence, the hotel business came to mind.
“I liked being with people, I liked being around people, and I liked to travel. I like the excitement of moving, getting to know new people, new cities, and new cultures. And my parents, they were pretty good about figuring out what I’d be good at. I consider myself fortunate to have found something that I like to do, and even more fortunate that I get to do it with the Four Seasons. I’ve been with the company for 15 years now, and whenever I go into a Four Seasons hotel, it’s like an extension of my family.”