Chief Engineer, Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette and Courtyard Peoria Downtown
August 26, 2021
Maintaining a 100-year-old historic hotel can have its challenges, but I love what I do every day. People often ask me, how did you end up doing what you do as a woman? My father who is a master diesel mechanic raised me and did a lot of work out of our home. I would always help and watch him work on everything from engines to air conditioners. Being right there to hand him the next tool and ask many questions.
I started working at the Pere Marquette in June of 2013. This was the first hotel that I had ever worked for and was part of the opening team. Intrigued by the design and history of the hotel I wanted to be more and more involved. We placed furniture, made beds and cleaned the hotel up for opening, which was a huge success. I then started to do room preventative maintenance on each guest room, getting to know them like the back of my hand. I worked hard and moved up to become a building engineer. From cleaning coils, greasing motors and maintaining fire life safety throughout the complex. I studied how the building operated, not only from a mechanical perspective, but also from a guest perspective. After working as a building engineer I became the maintenance supervisor, overseeing the RPM team and managing the building engineers helping them learn along the way. After being the supervisor for a couple years, I was the interim chief engineer. I knew I could do this, I have worked so hard for this, and within a few months, I was the Chief Engineer of the Complex.
I have gotten to know so many people in the community around Peoria, Illinois. I often tour groups of women interested in the field for nearby colleges. I always tell them that anything is possible and never give up! I love walking into the hotel, every day of my job is different and you never know what the next day will bring.