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Springfield, MO

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Stephanie Holmes

Executive CHEF - Chateau on the Lake Resort Spa & Convention Center

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From Wiltshire, England to Chateau on the Lake, Chef Stephanie Holmes is blazing a trail for the next generation of great chefs.

Leadership by Example

I believe if you will encourage, support and work alongside of your team, they will grow and you will earn their respect as the leader. I gained an appreciation for this leadership style under former mentor, Chef Mike following a catering mistake. He demonstrated that group discipline doesn’t work. You must treat everyone fairly but you can’t coach everyone the same. It’s important to understand the communication style of each person and help them learn in their own way.  Getting upset and undermining them never solves problems. Mistakes will be made. You must take them as experiences to improve skills for the future. I try to listen to each individual, define my expectations and then hold the team accountable.  I’m there to show them how I want things done rather than just assuming they know.  Taking the time to train is a big investment that I make in my team and in their future. 

Proud Accomplishment

Opened three restaurants in a timeline of one year, immediately following the emergence of COVID, including a fine dining restaurant, a bar and grill, and a casual dining restaurant.  Support of a team, communication and planning created the path to a successful launch. 

Listen First

Communication is KEY in an organization.  You need to understand and learn how each department works and then you can work together as a team to be fantastic!  It’s a puzzle and each piece needs the other in order to complete the picture. My General Manager, Mr. Parker shares his strategy for the resort and we want to deliver it with above & beyond expectations with exceptional service, hospitality and guest satisfaction.  
I take the time to teach and to create opportunities for growth. I’m always open to innovation & creativity when it matches expectations and the mission.  When things are stressful— and they often are—I take a step back and listen to the team, I make no assumptions. I have to first understand the problem if I am to discover the solution. 

Passing it on

I’m about ready to become a new Mom. I’ve given alot of thought to the example I want to set for my children. Leadership is important to children. I know if I teach expectations and good manners, they will follow my lead. Family is very important to me. I know from my own upbringing how much family influences and defines the person you will become. I want to always offer my family that crucial encouragement, support and patience.
 

Advice for professional females

Tough love is what I learned first from my grandmother and what I pass on to other women in leadership. You do what you believe and know is right. Don’t be tempted to follow the crowd.  Create your own standard and style. These things are obviously more challenging as a female leader. You must prove you can handle the pressure—”If you can’t handle the heat, you might have to step out of the kitchen!” 

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