Beyond the Boardroom

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Craig Reid

Author: Mallorie Kerrigan
January, 2018 Issue

Chief executive officer and president of Auberge Resorts Collection, Craig Reid, has been in the hospitality business for almost 40 years. A graduate from Westminster College in London with a degree in hotel management, Reid thinks of running hotels as a team sport. “I’m deeply proud of how many ‘championship teams’ I have been a part of,” he says. This year, Travel and Leisure voted Auberge Resorts Collection the third best brand in the world and the leading brand in the Americas. “For me, that’s the equivalent of winning the Super Bowl, and all the credit goes to our fabulous team.” 

Reid celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary this fall with his wife. They have three daughters and four grandchildren. “My greatest achievement without question is my family,” he says. 
 
Born in Lima, Peru, Reid moved to Spain, France and England with his parents as a young boy. He and his wife have lived in London, Florida, Washington D.C., Chicago, Boston, Texas, Canada and now reside in Mill Valley. “I’ve lived a nomadic life, but am now thrilled to live in Marin,” says Reid.
 
What’s your favorite part about living in Marin?
We [my wife and I] live at the foot of Mount Tamalpais. I love hiking it both during the week and on weekends. I average more than five miles a day. 
 
When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits? 
Last year, I hiked one of the tallest mountains in Wales with some high school chums, in appalling weather. We had a number of less experienced hikers with us. The “push” was as much about worrying about others as it was the physical test. 
 
Are you a traveler or a homebody?
Traveler all the way. I am on the road three weeks a month, but will travel personally, mostly with my family, at least a half-dozen times a year. 
 
What’s been your favorite place to travel to? Where have you not been that you would like to go? 
I have not been on safari in Africa. That’s the top of my bucket list now. I love to travel with my family to beach destinations and with my wife to European cities. 
 
If you were a star in a movie, what would be your ideal role? 
I loved the role of Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape.” He expressed independence, yet was team minded as well as an adventurer and a risk taker. 
 
What food do you eat for comfort?
I love slow roasts like lamb shanks and spare ribs. 
 
When was the last time you had to give a speech? How did it go?
I often give speeches, and enjoy doing so. 
 
If you could own any sports team, which one would it be?
My favorite sport is college football. If I could own a professional team it would be a baseball team, the Texas Rangers. I enjoy the process of assembling, developing and growing talent. 
 
Are you more of a dog or a cat person? 
I’m a dog person. We’ve had two beautiful black labs.
 
Who has been your greatest mentor? 
My former boss, Jim Fitzgibbon. I learned many lessons from him. The two most important lessons were to share genuine care for all employees, no matter what their role, and go out of your way for them. Secondly, he taught me to accept blame for anything that went wrong. In doing so, it forced me to think through ways to succeed no matter who else was involved. My current boss, Dan Friedkin, is also a stellar coach. 
 
What’s your preference: beer or wine? Any in particular?
Wine. Ideally a great red—Napa Cabs, Argentinian Malbecs and red Burgundys. 
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a farmer. I had an uncle who had a farm, and I cherished spending summers with him. 
 
What’s your preferred method of getting the news? 
The Internet. I look at four-to-five news outlets every morning—including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and Bloomberg.
 
What do you consider your best quality? 
The quality that has helped me the most over the years is my openness to learn from my mistakes or from others. 
 
If you could give one piece of advice to pass on to the next generation, what would it be? 
Be positive and show warmth and respect to all. 
 

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