Jenene Ronick is the kind of CEO who writes her motto on her website: Never regret. She also states that her most memorable hotel or luxury hospitality experience was opening the door to a 200-pound bobcat at the Singita Lodge at Boulders in South Africa, “while a guide shooed him away to bring us breakfast in bed.”
As CEO and founder of Luxury Attaché, the premier concierge management company, Ronick brings her love of adventure and personal taste to her work. Among the first of its kind to operate on a business-to-business model, Luxury Attaché has set the standard for personalized service across the country, offering access to an unrivaled repertoire of lifestyle expertise, even having clients fill out a lifestyle questionnaire.
Below, Ronick shares some of her favorite advice, adventure and achievements that have shaped her life and her company. She joined Young Presidents’ Organization in New York City in 2013.
What was your first job or business?
My first job out of college was a scuba dive instructor for Club Med guests which led me to love hospitality. After that I moved to the guest relations desk at CNN for many years. Then I began my company Luxury Attaché, a B2B concierge management company to luxury real estate developers and hoteliers – some of the world’s largest power house brands who entertain clients and travel the world
What is one must-read book for business leaders?
“The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers,” by Ben Horowitz. The introduction to every chapter are lyrics from a rap song that are totally relatable to the content of management and leadership, which I find both charming and real. Also the advice throughout the book comes from captains of industry who have proven methods on a variety of topics I struggle with. Many of these founders and leaders have used the solutions in the book to solve real problems that speak to me.
Complete the sentence: If I wasn’t a business leader, I would be…
I would be a restaurant owner because I love service and fine food.
What is the most difficult leadership lesson you’ve learned?
To not take anything for granted. Easy come, easy go!
What is the most frustrating and rewarding aspect of working within the hospitality sector?
The most frustrating is finding talent that loves to serve and work as a team to make clients feel special. The most rewarding is working with that team every day and continuing to build our brand with the best clients and partners in the world.
Who is your business role model?
I just love Richard Branson’s story of music, service, adventure and philanthropic work.
What is your favorite achievement?
My marriage and two wonderful boys who keep me busier than running Luxury Attaché – a perfect balance for me.
What is the best piece of leadership advice you have received?
Listen to everyone and don’t judge. Always be positive. It works!
What inspires you in your work and in your life?
Art (from my kids drawing to the newest Museum of Modern Art exhibit), music, theater, food, and watching entrepreneurs start companies that meet needs people didn’t realize they needed and now can’t live without!
How has being in YPO positively affected your business or leadership?
Meeting like-minded people who approach business problems in totally different ways.
What are three insights you would like to share?
- Travel without an agenda.
- Get out of your comfort zone and realize how lucky you are. Write down something every day that you’re grateful for; it keeps things in perspective.
- Listen to everyone and take something away to serve yourself and others – don’t underestimate anyone.