Springfield, MO

12 People You Need to Know in 2012: Phill Burgess

Posted online
In what is his third stint with a John Q. Hammons company, Phill Burgess is charged with teaching a new generation of sales professionals and hotel managers about Hammons’ approach to business.

Since December 2010, Burgess has served as the vice president of sales and revenue management for Springfield-based John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, which has 78 hotels, more than 9,000 employees and an operating budget of more than $800 million.

“On top of directing the sales and revenue aspect of our business, I’m creating an ongoing training program that includes the John Q. Hammons legacy and the values we embrace,” says Burgess, who was recruited back to the Hammons fold by CEO Jacquie Dowdy, the company’s leader since October 2010 when health issues forced Hammons to step down.

Unlike Burgess, many of the company’s employees had never met the company’s founder, and company veterans felt it was important to perpetuate Hammons’ business influence.

“In this economy, since it’s difficult to build new hotels, we had to ask ourselves, ‘Who do we want to be?’” Burgess says.

“The bottom line is it all comes back to leadership, and so a lot of my focus is leadership training and development.”

Burgess’ first stint with Hammons was in 1982, and he climbed his way to general manager with Winegardner & Hammons Inc., the precursor to John Q. Hammons Hotels.

He left in 1988 for a regional marketing position with Holiday Inns Inc., but apparently made a favorable impression on his former boss with a marketing speech at a Holiday Inn Conference.

Hammons, who hadn’t been taking Burgess’ calls since his departure, shared in the applause and told the crowd he taught Burgess everything he knows.

A couple years later, Hammons recruited Burgess for a second stint, helping to guide the company’s sales and marketing when it went public in 1995. After that, he left again, and spent the next 15 years as a hotel industry consultant and in the Christian publishing business.

Having recently battled testicular cancer, Burgess says his experiences with chemotherapy tested the advice he’s given to employees through the years.

Now, he’s using what he’s learned from Hammons and others to write a book – with the working title, “Big Blue Sky” – about having the right attitude to inspire excellence in service and sales.

“It gets back to being the best,” he says. “Being the best is difficult or everyone would be the best.”[[In-content Ad]]


No comments on this story |
Please log in or register to add your comment
Most Read
SBJ Live logo
“We’re in the people helping business.”

Larry Peterson, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity or Springfield Missouri, says there are some misconceptions about the nonprofit group. While they do accept donations they are not a charity …

Effective Communication Caleb Arthur, founder and CEO of Sun Solar, says you need to work on your communication skills within your business. He says it can be a struggle for every business and even small things can grow …
Living Quote - “You can do everything right…” Diana Day, Chief Business Officer of People Centric Consulting Group, says even when you do everything right, you still may not win. Strive for your goals, but realize that those may not be the right …
90 Ideas - Jeff Schrag Jeff Schrag, founder of Mother’s Brewing Company, says beware of turning your hobby into a business. You might find the thing you used to get away from it all has now become a source of stress. …
Beyond The Spotlight - A Superior Business Plan Steve Wohnoutka, co-owner of Superior Rents, says the business has expanded and changed since he and his brother Dan started in 2005. He says they’ve opened new locations, expanded their equipment …