Greenbrier Cfo Speaks at Concord Discusses Change, Respect and Leadership Style
Athens, W.Va. - Larry Mazey, chief financial officer of The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, spoke to an audience of about 200 students, faculty, staff and friends of the College, Monday, March 18, 2002 in the Main Theater of the Alexander Fine Arts Center.
Mazey graduated from Concord College in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a major in accounting and spoke as part of the College’s Distinguished Alumni Speaker series.
He discussed the importance of change for businesses and institutions, the critical nature of respect by employers and supervisors for subordinates, and leadership style. He also shared with the audience specific challenges of managing a four-star resort in West Virginia.
Concord President Jerry Beasley introduced Mazey. "He is an enthusiastic and ardent champion of Concord College through scholarships that are funded through dinners held at The Greenbrier. The Greenbrier is committed to worldwide standards and competes in a global market place. They do the right things well. The Greenbrier is more than a hotel; it is an institution that has the history of our region permeating through its rooms and grounds. It is an institution that stretches us to be better people and Larry will present those principles here today. He was from a family of modest means and has done many of the same kinds of jobs that our students continue to do today to work their way through college."
Beasley also introduced Harry Finkelman, who taught at Concord 33 years and had a reputation for demanding quality work from his students. He taught Mazey at Concord.
"Larry has been enthusiastic and almost reverent in his descriptions of the influence of Professor Finkelman on his life. I understand that Larry will always have a room available at The Greenbrier for the Finkelmans," continued Beasley, as he smiled, "so perhaps there are some compensations for teaching at Concord College!"
Mr. Mazey stated that: "I didn’t want to be defeated when I came to Concord. So, I talked to Mr. Bergstein, who was the head of the business division at the time. ‘Everything revolves around numbers,’ he said. ‘Go into accounting.’ So I did. Then I met Harry Finkelman. Even though I didn’t miss a class, I only got an 89! It was disappointing to me, but I used that experience as a standard for discipline."
"The events of September 11 changed the way travelers think," said Mazey. "Travelers now want destinations closer to home, so we launched a marketing campaign, ‘The Greenbrier Is Closer Than You Think.’
"Change is important. We encourage guests to fill out response cards to rate our service. The best one came from a guest who had been using our facility for 30 years, who complimented us on our service. He said that nothing changes. It’s the appearance of nothing changing that speaks to the quality of this resort that is important.
"I’m ‘just’ a caretaker of The Greenbrier, just like Dr. Beasley is a caretaker of Concord. I’m honored today by Concord College, but I’m also honored to be a caretaker of The Greenbrier. Respect is the key, and customer service is paramount."