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    ICYMI: The Drake Thanks

    We aren’t going to let a global pandemic get us down. Despite 2020 being a total rollercoaster, we at The Drake have a lot to be thankful for. We checked in with some of our staff members to ask them what they’re thankful for and what is inspiring them this season, and the responses warmed our little hearts right up. 

    JESS JOHNSTON, Venue Sales Specialist // I started at The Drake in 2016 as a server at One Fifty, and taught Wine School for three semesters there (I have my WSET Level 3). I was promoted to Jr. Events Coordinator mid-2018 and then to Restaurant Sales Specialist in late 2019. I got another promotion last month and now sell all of the Toronto Properties as the Venue Sales Specialist.⠀

    What are you thankful for? I am thankful for my support system, who constantly lift me up and remind me to count my blessings. In this time of uncertainty, I find comfort in knowing that they are always there for me. Thank you, you know who you are 🙂 I was lucky enough to spend the majority of the last four months at a cottage in Campbellford Ontario. It became a haven, a safe space for my partner and I to escape the stressors of the city and enjoy the little things. ⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? The tireless work of all front-line workers is an endless source of inspiration, motivation and strength. But I want to give accolades to my fellow restaurant workers who are going to work every day. Times have been tough, I know. But we’re here, doing what we love and keeping each other and our customers safe. Thanks for doing what you do, don’t forget to take time for yourselves and loved ones. We will get through this, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

     

    SAM WILSON, Bartender, Drake Commissary // Been with The Drake a little over a year⠀

    What are you thankful for? I’m thankful for my wonderful wife. I don’t know if I’d be here without her, and the world would certainly be much more difficult without her love. We were supposed to be married Sept. 13 but had to postpone due to Covid – we’re technically still “engaged” but married in spirit.⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? Fall has long been my favourite season – it’s a time of transition, of change, a reflective time of the year when a lot of introspection can be particularly fruitful. I recently started going to therapy for the first time in my life and being able to address some old burdens and discover new possibilities is a wonderful gift.

    BRADLEY MORGAN, Line Cook, The Drake Hotel // Been with The Drake 2 years⠀

    What are you thankful for? Thankful for the people in my life that I love so much.⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? Inspired by the people who worked all through the pandemic.

    STEVE MCCANCE, Maintenance Support, Drake Devonshire

    What are you thankful for? Since we reopened it has always been my biggest fear that with all the guests that visit us from afar that COVID-19 would find its way into our small community of Wellington. I am thankful that the Drake went above and beyond with proper procedures to protect guests, staff and the local population. This was noticed from the community and I believe because of the precautions we put in place I believe we made new friends. Because of this, I am so thankful that my family, friends and coworkers, who are my second family, are safe and healthy. ⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? During this pandemic we currently find ourselves in, what has motivated me to strive for excellence each day is the hope that we can maintain the momentum that we were able to build while the property was shut down. During that time, I was able to spend many hours at the hotel working on projects and the overall upkeep of the property. This has positioned us to be further ahead in regard to the operations than we have ever been since I’ve been with the Devonshire. My colleagues, Trevor and Dan have also been inspirational because I know they always have my back and make each day full of fun and laughter.⠀

    Here is a picture of me wearing my blazer. This was the first day of reopening and I wanted to enter with a little flare 🙂

     

    RICKY MIGHTY (and Max!), IT Manager // Been with The Drake 10 years⠀

    What are you thankful for? To be honest the one thing I am thankful for right now is my health and the health for the people around me. Through these unprecedented times being thankful for the simple things is the most important: being able to walk down Beac’s and Queen with Max and seeing the people I normally see (keeping social distance and my mask of course) in good health and safe is what I’m most thankful for.⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? Looking ahead is what is motivating me the most right now. 2020 is pretty much a write off, to me this season is more about taking the time to reflect what’s happening in my life and were I want to be and things I want to experience moving forward.

    DEIDRE HENNIGAR, Host, Drake One Fifty // I’ve been with The Drake 5 years now – crazy!⠀

    What are you thankful for? I’m thankful for my friends,family, front line workers and all the chonky animals on Instagram! ⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? What motivates me is fitness challenges with friends. Helps to put down the phone and get outside (in a safe socially distance way!).

    AUSTIN BEAVER, Fleet Manager // Been with The Drake 4 years this month⠀

    What are you thankful for? I’m thankful for the health and happiness of my friends and family during this wild year.⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? This season/year, I’m motivated and inspired by my 98 year-old gran who, despite this isolating past several months, continues to write and publish her historical non-fiction novels (and some romantic fiction!).

    OLVIA COLLICT, Server, Drake Commissary // Been with The Drake for just over three years.⠀

    What are you thankful for? This Thanksgiving I am feeling so thankful for my little family and our comfortable, cozy and safe home which has been a haven during such uncertain and stressful times. I am also super thankful for my wonderful mom, my hilarious friends, and my supportive family.⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? This season I am feeling inspired by all the wonderful people around me who are using this unexpected and strange time to pursue their dreams and passions which they had previously not had the time (or courage) for. With that, I have started a comedy podcast called “30 Going On 13”, as well as a post-grad program at UCLA for television writing, both of which I cannot say would have happened otherwise. Looking forward to seeing what the year ahead brings!

    AILEEN HEATHERINGTON, Senior F+B Manager, The Drake Hotel // Been with The Drake 3 years⠀

    What are you thankful for? I am thankful for my husband + daughter. Going through a pandemic and navigating all the challenges that it brings together, I am grateful to have them to lean on. ⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? I am inspired by my Dad. He lives in a long-term care home and has not let COVID get him down. He is eternally positive regardless of circumstance and that is something to be truly inspired by.

    MIKE HA, Bartender, Drake One Fifty // Been with The Drake 1 year⠀

    “What you do for yourself, you do for others and what you do for others, you do for yourself.” – Phil Jackson⠀

    Where I am today is a result of those who have pulled me out of the dark and pushed me to the light, and in return I provide the same support for others. Phil Jackson’s phrase has been a huge inspiration in my life and what I strive to live by. I truly want to build a culture, whether big or small, that truly lives for one another. ⠀

    So during this Thanksgiving, I want to cherish those around me. My family, my friends, my mentors, and even the guest that demands another cocktail or the stranger who nodded at me on the street as I walked by them. But I ultimately want to thank my family at The Drake who have opened a new window and kicked me right through it. I am truly thankful to have you as a part of my life. ⠀

    Happy Thanksgiving to all my Ohana!

    MARIA CHEUNG, Accountant // I have been at the Drake since May 2008 = 12+ years!! Started as a Busser, then Food Runner and added on the Cashier role. Eventually stopped food running and was just the Cashier until I became the Accounts Payable Clerk and now the Staff Accountant! It’s been a long fun journey!!⠀

    What are you thankful for? I am thankful that I am surrounded by great people everyday in my personal and work life. During these changing times, I have had the pleasure of being amongst people who are constantly loving and supportive, positive and encouraging, and persistent and devoted…being around such company is something I feel very lucky and grateful for.⠀

    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? This season I have been inspired by how people have transformed themselves during this pandemic. Some people have challenged themselves to more education, some have changed careers, some have gotten creative and some have just taken the time to rest and reset. I’ve been trying to be more creative and have enjoyed working on projects that challenge my usual thought process.

    DWAYNE GAYLE, Night Auditor, The Drake Hotel // Been with The Drake Hotel for 3 years this coming December. ⠀
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    What are you thankful for? I’m very thankful for my family and my great coworkers here at The Drake Hotel. My amazing girlfriend Karen! My 3 children who are my blessings from God, Tyreek, Akayla and Deidre. I can’t forget my 5 brothers Gary, Kevin, Jason, Jermaine, Hylton and my sister Nigelee. And finally my awesome mom and dad. ⠀
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    What is motivating or inspiring you this season? My relationship with my Heavenly Father who has blessed me to see each and every day. Because every day that I’m fortunate to see is a present for him.

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