Most people in their early 20s are still trying to figure out their plans for life, but at 24 years old, one Sweetwater High School alumni seems to have it successfully figured out.
Adrian Solano, a 2006 graduate of SHS, became the general manager at the local Hampton Inn a little over six months ago. In the span of two-and-a-half years, Solano has gone from front desk clerk to the top spot of the Sweetwater branch, also serving as front office manager, director of sales and assistant general manager in between that time.
When he first joined the Hampton Inn, Solano shared in an email that he had no experience in the hotel business. His previous training had been as a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio, studying accounting for three years.
But upon joining the company, he took part in the training program, Hilton University (the Hampton Inn is one of several hotels under the Hilton hotels umbrella). As a result, Solano learned about the variety of programs used at the front desk, eventually learning more about the overall Hampton system while in the university.
In his new role as general manager, Solano helps maintain the integrity and structure of the hotel, overseeing the departments within the hotel to make sure everyone has the tools to be successful in the work and ensuring the daily operations get accomplished. However, he knows that people are his top priority.
"The most important responsibility in my new role is making sure that our guests are taken care of," said Solano. "They are our number one priority and if they are happy, then we as a staff are happy."
He strives to establish an atmosphere where the guests are excited to stay at the hotel and come back to Sweetwater--whether it's for another visit to the hotel while traveling or as a permanent resident or business client of the city.
"With more businesses coming into the area, it is up to us as hotels to show them the kind of people that live here, which will hopefully make them want to start a business in Sweetwater."
Furthermore, Solano says that he wants to bring excitement within the staff as well. He believes that in order to run a successful business, an establishment must have the right people with the right attitude--which means he must have the right work environment.
Solano says that the leadership traits he portrays comes from his father Robert, a former Marine who instilled in his son how to lead, follow directions, professionalism and punctuality. Additionally, his mother Noemi taught him passion, discipline, and always believed and told him that he could accomplish anything he set out to do.
His parents still live in Sweetwater, and Solano has his two younger siblings--Javier, a 2012 graduate of SHS and Gisela, currently an eighth grader at Sweetwater Middle School.
"I have had success in my life because of my parents and them teaching me to respect others and to be a good person," he commented.
Solano has seen even more success recently, but from a personal standpoint. He recently became engaged and says that without his fiancee´, Kelci Owens, he wouldn't be as happy doing what he does. He also says he is grateful for the opportunities God has given him in his life, and for God's blessings and guidance in his general manager role.
"Come by and see us here at the Hampton Inn," Solano says invitingly, "and let us provide you with the best customer service in Sweetwater."