Marcus Piatt knows what it's like to make beds, to check in guests and to handle the myriad other chores confronting hotels each day.
Mr. Piatt didn't take a lot of shortcuts in his rise to president of Millcraft Hospitality LP. He learned the ropes by working as an employee or manager in various hotel departments, from housekeeping to the front desk and restaurants. About the only place he didn't work was the kitchen.
"I didn't want to cut my finger off," he said with a laugh.
Nonetheless, he believes those experiences helped to prepare him for leading Millcraft Hospitality, a company formed about three years ago by Washington County-based Millcraft Industries to manage hotels.
"There are leaders making beds each day," he said. "I gained an appreciation for what everybody in the hotel does, not just the top people.
"Those people helped me understand what it means to be a better leader. Being a good leader means understanding and being willing to do what everybody else is doing."
Millcraft manages the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe and the Doubletree by Hilton at Pittsburgh International Airport, both of which it owns. It also will be managing the Hilton Garden Inn that will be built as part of Millcraft Industries' $81.8 million Gardens at Market Square office, hotel and retail project Downtown. It also will manage and may become a minority partner in a proposed limited-service hotel to be built at the Pittsburgh Technology Center in South Oakland. It is considering several other possible deals as well.
Mr. Piatt, 35, said the company moved into hotel management because it saw that as a way to keep money in house rather than pay a third party to operate its properties.
He said one thing it takes to be a good leader is to have a good mentor. He believes he has had that in his father, Jack Piatt, the developer responsible for Southpointe and Piatt Place, Market Square Place and the Rivervue projects Downtown. He also believes it's important to surround yourself with good people.
"I've been able to witness my father and his successes, and he's always had good people by his side. It's something that I live by. The reality is, you're not going to get all of this stuff done by yourself. We have a team approach. We do things together as a team, and that's how we get things done," he said.
Mark Belko: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1262.
-- Mark Belko: email@example.com or 412-263-1262