Meet Michael Musarra General Manager, San Jose Fairmont Hotel
SVL: What led you to hospitality?
MM: In many ways I have grown up around hotels from when I was very young and my parents travelled to Puerto Rico. When I was still in college my mother and I started a company that custom designed hotel amenities. I had an early passion for Food & Beverage. All of these experiences, coupled with what I believe to be a fascinating, creative, and wonderful industry, have led and kept me in the world of hospitality.
SVL: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
MM: Earlier in life I would say that my mother was my greatest inspiration. She was talented, tenacious, and would go to the end of the world for her family. I’ve had a few mentors in my professional life along the way. I would have to say that I draw my greatest inspiration these days from my wife and children – we have an amazing connection that transcends time and space.
SVL: What are some of your favorite interests and hobbies that you enjoy?
MM: I enjoy traveling and love Europe in particular. My background is Italian and I am married to a French woman. We have lived in France, where we have family and many friends. Most recently we celebrated our daughter’s wedding there. I continue to study languages, love to cook and enjoy tennis, biking and photography.
SVL: What’s the best advice anyone’s given you?
MM: Stay true to yourself. Always do the right thing.
SVL: What do you love about San Jose?
MM: Being at the heart of Silicon Valley means we are surrounded by a spirit of innovation. I believe the city has a genuine interest in creating a vision of downtown beyond what it is today, a vision of continued revitalization.
SVL: If you could give a 16-year-old advice what would it be?
MM: Dedicate yourself to continuous learning, embrace many interests and have fun.
SVL: What is you’re feeling about Philanthropy and helping serve in the Community?
MM: As a hotel we have an active history of supporting organizations that benefit the community. We’ve made philanthropic contributions to many San Jose charities and hosted local charitable events. From our current sponsorship of Hunger at Home, to our yearly California Coastal Cleanup, to celebrating our tenth annual Pajama Drive next year, we have developed a longstanding commitment to community involvement.
SVL: What's new at Fairmont San Jose?
MM: We have wonderful things happening at Fairmont San Jose. Our upcoming Winemaker Dinners will be on October 21 and November 11, and promise sensational wine paired menus. The holidays are just around the corner and we’re offering two delicious Thanksgiving brunches, two festive Christmas buffets, two New Year’s Eve celebrations and of course Holiday Meals To Go. We will be completing our South Tower renovation early next year and it looks spectacular.
SVL: Tell me about the hotel’s bee program?
MM: Last year we partnered with Bees At Home, a local bee rescue company, to expand on our rooftop honeybee hives. Our culinary team uses the honey harvested from our four hives in Fountain Restaurant. This year we created a Pollinator Bee Hotel from scrap material found throughout the hotel. It serves as a world-class habitat for nesting and reproduction for wild mason bees. We’ve embraced sustainable practices like these that positively impact our environment.
SVL: What is the toughest part of your job?
MM: With over 500 colleagues from diverse backgrounds and interests, one of the toughest challenges (and one of the most enjoyable) is getting to really know each person, their abilities, what motivates them and their aspirations.
SVL: How do you see the hotel changing in the next year?
MM: Next year we plan to redesign the hotel’s main lobby and lounge area. We are looking to create a more modernized design concept while embracing the history of our landmark property and brand. We are very focused on introducing new and heightened elements into our product and service as we celebrate our 30th Anniversary next year.