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Chris Hunsberger

President Hotel Operations, Americas

“I joined Four Seasons 30 years ago because it was recognized as a service and product innovator. Today there are many innovators in the industry, so our ongoing goal is to continue to be known as the leader.”

As a self-described risk taker and one who likes to push boundaries, Chris is the perfect type to be responsible for global product improvement and innovation at Four Seasons. Chris, who has always gone by his initials, CBH (the B stands for Baynes, by the way), is upfront about the challenges of the job.

“We’ve always encouraged grass roots innovation,” he says. “We have more than 80 laboratories, constantly coming up with new ideas. The hard part is harnessing the good ones and amplifying them on a broader scale.”

CBH says Four Seasons has pioneered countless services and experiences in the hotel industry, but has always been low key about it. “We were the first to put little bottles of shampoo in hotel bathrooms, not many people know that,” he says. “A home run for me is putting something out there our guests love and they give us credit for it.”

 

Career Highlights

  • At Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts: Joined in 1981 as a Management Trainee at The Pierre, New York (formerly a Four Seasons hotel); held various positions in Toronto, Chicago and New York and served as General Manager in Houston and Aviara, in Southern California, and as General Manager and Regional Vice President in Washington, DC; promoted to Senior Vice President Operations for the Americas in 2008. He has held his current position since August 2011
  • Previously: The Boca Raton Hotel and Club
  • Education: Graduated from Cornell University in 1981; Summer classes at Wharton School of Business and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

Community Involvement

  • Board member, Helen Hayes Foundation
  • Board member, Georgetown Business Improvement District
  • Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Innovation Council, Mentor Program, Guest Lecturer, Society of Hotel Persons and Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship Advisory Board Member

Awards and Honours

  • Philanthropic Partners Award, Washington Cancer Institute, 2006
  • Business Person of the Year, Georgetown Business and Professional Association, 2006

Personal Insights

  • Home base: Potomac, Maryland. His office is in Washington D.C., though he commutes to Four Seasons Home Office in Toronto a week per month, on average
  • His passion: Food. “It’s hard to have a conversation with someone and not talk about a new restaurant, or my newest wine in the cellar, or a great recipe. Basically, I work out so I can eat and drink what I want”
  • His therapy: Maintaining his three-season vegetable garden. “I grow herbs, lettuces, tomatoes, squash, peppers, you name it. It keeps me busy from March through to October”
  • His love: Family. CBH is married with two grown sons and a teenage daughter
  • How his kids would describe him: “They would say I’m a milestone person. I’m always asking them what goals they’ve set for themselves. And I hope they’d say I care about them!”

 

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