arthisto June 27th, 2011
Maggie Harris comes to AHA to head up research and development of a most important department; hotels and restaurants. As I have pointed out most recently in the post: “What is Cultural Immersion and How Do You Get It?“, Hotels and restaurants are an integral part of our immersion process. We are extremely particular, not simply that they are nice, but that they are characteristic of the place we are visiting, and Maggie gets it.
Years ago, when I started this business, research and development was maps spread out on a big table, some falling off to the floor, my favorite travel books with stickies everywhere, sharpees in different colors for different cities, and copious notes. In those days, the web was less than useful. The sorts of immersion spots I was searching for were years away from any web presence. Fast forward.
Upon Maggie’s return from a recent trip to Paris, she emailed me a tip on a restaurant that AHA might want to use in the future. Her email was so descriptive, insightful, and detailed, I felt I’d been right there, sitting across the table from her. However, it wasn’t just what she said that caught my interest, it was that she was speaking my language. The aspects that she swooned over were exactly the aspects I look for in and AHA restaurant. From the food and “cultural” ambiance, to the welcoming staff and the location, she’d noted that all parts added up to, YES, and she wanted to share the information with me. Little did Maggie or I imagine at the time, that that email was a sort of application and interview rolled into one.
A few emails later, realizing that I could trust Maggie’s judgment, I offered her this position, and she loved it. With the AHA criteria understood, Maggie will scope hotels and restaurants in AHA destinations, online as well as through personal recommendations, compiling a list of places that I can try out while traveling. This is a very, very important job, and Maggie will be GREAT at it.
- Maggie holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Bethel University, and has worked or studied in Nicaragua, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. She loves to travel and has visited more than 20 countries. Maggie and her husband Nick are the proud parents of two children: Kate (7) and Liam (5).
- Maggie is a leadership instructor at the University of Minnesota.
- Maggie Harris is the President and Co-founder of Ever After Gowns, a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization that donates prom gowns and accessories to high school students in need. She leads an incredible team of women who devote themselves to cultivating strong community partnerships that help build self-esteem and confidence in young women.
Now Maggie, armed with your virtual sharpees and sticky notes, welcome to the happy crew of Art History Alive!