The Grand Summit Hotel in prestigious Summit pulls at least 35% of its overnight stay business from European travelers and other overseas guests from around the world. So it was only natural that a young European gentleman would become the Front of House Manager for the historic Hotel.
Koen Schreij was born in Rotterdam, which is located in the southern portion of Holland. Koen would spend his youth in the town of Dordrecht where he and his younger brother were raised by his mom and dad It was a middle class upbringing, in which his parents instilled in him early on the value of hard work and earning money.
“When I turned 14, my parents told me it was time to find a job, and I did so as a paper round in my neighborhood,” says Schreij. “From there I took a position in the local supermarket as a special representative where before long they put me in charge of the produce department. Having my parents push me into the workforce at such a young age allowed me to take on a work ethic so important in our industry” he adds.
Koen would add managing an ice rink, promoting a local venue, and even taking apart vending machines to repair them all prior to his studies in college. He would pursue leisure and hospitality at DaVinci College in Dordrecht where he would get his opportunity to visit the US.
In 2011, Koen would write the classic American love story when he would fall in love with his now wife Jessica, a Jersey girl, in his first visit to America as they interned together for Campus Kids New Jersey. A year later they would be married in his hometown in Holland before settling in the US in 2013.
In 2013 Koen would be granted his green card and immediately began looking for work. “I must have sent out 300 resumes. When The Grand Summit Hotel called me in for an interview, I was excited to hear from an independent hotel in a beautiful New Jersey suburb,” he says. Koen would start as a front desk agent where his diligence and work ethic catapulted him into a supervisor position a year later.
In November of 2015, Koen was named Front Office Manager with the departure of Nicole Julio the long-time Manager who hired Koen as an agent.
Koen is responsible for the 24-hour day-to-day operation that is the front office. Koen oversees a staff of 15 full and part time associates responsible for accommodating the hotels corporate and leisure overnight guests. His responsibilities include reservations, revenue management, and overseeing the social and corporate rooms blocks that the hotel houses. “The hotel is 149 guest rooms and suites, and during peak times we can be filled with up to as many as 10 different groups at a time along with our very loyal returning guests,” says Schreij. “It is important that we treat each guest with the hospitality they expect to ensure a good experience. In an independent environment, the relationship with the guest is paramount.”
In his spare time, Koen enjoys cooking, going out with friends, hiking, and traveling. He tries to get back to his country annually to spend time with his family. Koen and his wife moved into the town of Summit in 2014. “When I lived in Montclair, I would commute via train for an hour and half each day” he adds. “Having a short walk to the property in a great town like Summit affords me a city-type lifestyle without the stress and noise associated with a big city. It is a great town to work and live in.”