Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam
- Block Ha My Dong B, Dien Duong Ward, Dien Ban Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2006
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Income Auditor, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
- Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco; Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta; Four Seasons Hotel Denver; Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail; Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara; Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
- Seoul, Korea
- Bachelor of Science, Business and Economics, Accounting; College of Business & Economics (Lehigh University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
It isn’t the most natural transition – from Director of Finance to Resort Manager – but for a creative people-person like Bryan Ruch who has never been afraid to challenge the status quo, it was more just a matter of time, and place.
Enter Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai: a Resort renowned for the opportunity it gives its staff to shine at what they do best. “With a local team of 600, the warm familial support is as genuine behind the scenes as it is front of house,” testifies Ruch, who spent his first year at the property overseeing Finance, Purchasing and IT, before being encouraged to spread his own Resort Manager wings.
The son of a Korean mother and American airline executive father, Ruch was raised in Japan and Korea before moving to Hawaii at age 16. His childhood was blessed with incredible travel and cultural experiences, and a talent for design. All set for art school, he opted – to the surprise of his friends – for “the sensible choice of a business degree,” yet carved his own path by choosing the hospitality industry over a big accounting firm. He joined Four Seasons Resort Hualalai as an Income Auditor straight from college and progressed through the finance ranks at six further US Four Seasons before heading to Vietnam in July 2017.
Ruch is experienced in the full gamut of behind-the-scenes operations – from forecasting, budget planning, contracts and licensing to purchasing, Human Resources, IT and standards development – but has long prioritised one aspect of his role above all others: the people. “I’ve had some great mentors over the years who taught me that finance isn’t just about the numbers but the people,” he says. “When the staff are happy, everyone else benefits too.”
In Vietnam, he soon set about implementing his experience of the policy-driven US culture to maximise the benefits and wellbeing of the local staff. And he’s now looking forward to ways that his unconventional route into his new role can help to empower them even more.
“I have spent most of my career behind the wheel, seeing what works and what doesn’t from the business side,” he explains. ”But now I can dive in with a fresh perspective and use my experience to leverage the teams and their culture; to foster their creativity; and help translate their passions and skills into guest experiences that sets us apart from all the rest.”
Never afraid to take chances on things outside the norm, Ruch enjoys integrating professionalism and playfulness and is particularly looking forward to bringing more of the region’s culture into tangible on-site offerings and developing his main passion of food and beverage, from the Resort’s farm fresh herbs to its professional grade Cooking Academy.
“My life centres around food,” he laughs, from eating in nice places to visiting local markets to buying a cookbook everywhere he visits. He has at least 100 in his collection, and finds a lot of peace being creative alongside his wife in the kitchen. But there’s one catch: “I rarely make the same dish twice, for better or worse according to my wife – but to me that’s part of the fun.” Creative and committed yet ever bucking the trend: the inspiring hallmark of the Ruch personality, served fresh daily.