One of the things I enjoy about the career I have chosen is the journeyman nature of the trade. My father told me a long time ago that in this industry you can pick up and go to any city in the world, you will always have fun people to work with, and you will always have something good to eat. All of this has held true. However, one thing I have had to learn on my own was that as professionals we will continue to grow ourselves and our careers, and will eventually move on. And we need to remember that this is a very good thing. I am not talking about the artists, med school students, and musicians that pass through our industry as a means to another end. I am speaking to the Career Hospitality Professionals that make this industry possible through selfless dedication, hard work, and compassion.
Over the course of my career I have worked with many people who have made an impact on me personally and the businesses/communities we have served together. Some of these people have been lifelong friends, one of these people even became my wife. At one point we worked together, then we moved on to do greater things. And there are few accomplishments more satisfying to me than seeing my friends and coworkers succeed, choose a new more challenging path, and continue to grow themselves.
On June 19th, 2015 this bittersweet cycle continues as we wish farewell to Sandy Smith, Ray’s HR Manager, a team member of more than 20 years. To begin to explain the amount of impact that Sandy has had on the lives of the people she has touched, her dedication to the Pacific Northwest institution of Ray’s, and her impact on the Seattle hospitality industry, is simply not possible. For over half of Ray’s 43-year history Sandy has opened our doors to countless new hires anxious to start their new positions, new lives, and new careers. She has provided sanctuary to people in crisis and has been a soft shoulder for team members in need. She has built a legacy of ‘making things happen’ by always remaining flexible and finding solutions. She has been a voice for Ray’s in both local and state hospitality politics. She has been a friend and mentor to many many people, and her smiles will be missed.
As June 19th approaches we will celebrate with Sandy, share food and drink, laugh and reminisce. There will be hugs, tears, and handshakes. There will be a new hire sitting at Sandy’s desk as the cycle continues and I ask that Sandy hold deep in her heart the knowledge that the legacy she has created will carry on. The Sandy that we know and love will always have a place here at Ray’s and the mark she has made will remain bright for many years to come. It is fair to say that Rays would not be what it is today without all of the great work that Sandy has done. And for that we thank you.
Best of luck Sandy. We are by your side as you take this next step and we all know you will continue to do great things for the industry we enjoy so much and the people you serve.
Ray’s Boathouse & Cafe General Manager