For over thirty years, Gordon McLendon has proven himself to be a leader in the Vacation Ownership industry. He has led by example, supported our industry, and continually leads SPI through challenging times, most recently through the struggles our industry has faced due to the CoVid-19 global pandemic.
Gordon always puts our customers first, his attitude and behavior epitomize his title of VP of Client Relations. The goal of a VP of Client Relations is to serve as a liaison with a company’s clients and customers, developing relationships, providing guidance and advice, and ensuring all the customer’s needs are being met. This is a role that Gordon takes very seriously and successfully accomplishes daily.
One of his true strengths is the ability to consider every situation and challenges from all possible points of view. This is crucial not only for the success of SPI but the success of our customers and how it will affect our industry. Not only seeing the company’s viewpoint but being able to put yourself in the position of the customer.
Empathy is a leadership trait that is often undervalued but has enormous positive impacts on all parts of our business. Listening to our customers and doing what is best for them has always paid dividends and always will. Do what is best for the customer, always help them and the result will be happy customers, happy employees, and a successful partnership. As a role model, mentor, and leader in our industry for over thirty years, Gordon’s approach has proven itself.
For the past year, one of the challenges facing SPI, the Vacation Ownership Industry, and our country as a whole is communication, or more specifically, a lack of communication. All of us have been separated from not only our friends and families but also our co-workers and customers. Having talks at the water cooler, bringing in donuts for breakfast, ordering pizza at lunch, after work happy hours are no longer part of the equation. Employees have been isolated and can often feel they are on their own. This feeling of seclusion is detrimental for the company, but more importantly hazardous to the employee.
At SPI, this challenge was compounded by our office building being completely closed to our employees. Working from home was an option, it was mandatory. So how do you move a development, support, sales, and operational team home and keep them not only productive but happy? You put Gordon McLendon on the case. Gordon oversaw and assisted with all the logistics of getting each employee set up with a safe, secure, and appropriate workspace. Assured each employee had all the tools needed to be successful in their role and monitored each employee with weekly calls. These calls were not just to check in on work productivity, but more importantly gauge the well-being and mental, the emotional status of our team members.
In addition to the internal challenges facing SPI, our biggest goal was to make sure our customers were staying financially stable during a time with little to no room revenue being generated. How can SPI help our customers not only today but help them be prepared for the future when our world would return to normal?
Gordon spearheaded a major project of contacting all our hundreds of customers, reviewing their accounts, and determining how each property could be productive during this time of decreased occupancy. SPI was able to work with each customer on software upgrades, training issues, new products, and make long-term plans on how each partnership could be improved. During these conversations, it was determined that new functionality to the SPI software would be required when properties started welcoming back their guests and owners.
Under Gordon’s leadership, and the help of our customers, development team, and business analysis department, SPI was able to create an expedited registration/check-in process. This process benefits the guest by bypassing the front desk, keeps the employees safe by limiting unnecessary contact with guests, and improves the overall satisfaction level of owners and guests staying at the property.
All these examples are testament to why Gordon McLendon should be considered for the Perspective Magazine “Best Industry Leader” award.