San Francisco Suites on Nob Hill
The State of the Suites – January 2024
My very warm regards to the San Francisco Suites owners. I am finishing my 9th year as a member of the Board and my fifth year as President. Due to other commitments I am not running for another three year term. Before I step down, I wanted to share some thoughts with you.
The Suites’ faces a number of challenges. Many of our owners have reached an age where they do not come to the Suites as often, and many in the younger generation do not have the same feeling about the Suites.
Inflation has impacted our ownership; and increased insurance costs and the costs of maintaining and upgrading a 113 year old building require increased Assessments. San Francisco’s reputation has declined due to economic struggles – particularly in our backyard around Union Square and formerly vibrant areas such as San Francisco Center which has lost most of its businesses. And there is no doubt that homelessness, mental illness, and drug addiction are a terrible tragedy in San Francisco.
But Cynthia’s General Manager letters remind us all, however, that San Francisco is still a beautiful City with wonderful restaurants, art, culture, and sports teams. It also has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world with world class beautiful sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, the new Tunnel Top park, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, and the Embarcadero. Cynthia and the staff will continue to inform our owners and their guests that there is still much to love about San Francisco. And the ongoing improvements to the Suites make it a comfortable and elegant “home away from home” for our owners.
As I step off the Board, I want to share with you my belief that we have the best collective Board membership that we have ever had during my service.
This Board is cohesive, thoughtful, intelligent, and hard working – constantly thinking about what is best for the Suites and its ownership. We have faced surprise costs and other challenges, but we have been proactive and creative in managing the Suites and its finances. Jeff Reichel is “termed out” and I am leaving, but the three remaining Board members – Fred Munroe, Dwight Walker, and Geoffrey Bellah – share many leadership characteristics that will provide a solid foundation for the next Board. I hope that those who run for election, and those for whom the owners vote, share those characteristics.
Collegiality and Respect. The entire Board works well together because we respect the other Board members, the staff, and the owners, and have worked collaboratively on problem solving. That has not always been true in the past, but it is essential for an effective Board to address the important issues we face.
Expertise. Dwight provides in depth and comprehensive financial information that helps the Board carefully plan for the future, and to pivot when circumstances change. Fred’s work in the travel industry provides important insights into how small lodging facilities can provide better services to their guests. Geoffrey served several years as Board President and is dedicated to the aesthetic qualities of our property.
Selflessness. None of these Board members are serving on the Board to achieve some personal agenda. Their decisions are made with the best interests of the owners and the staff in mind.
Energy. While there are only five Board Meetings in a year, there is a substantial amount of research outside of meetings through various Board subcommittees. Board members need to be hard working to help guide the management of this 113 year old building and complicated lodging operation.
Passion. These Board Members have (and those joining them must have) a love and passion for this beautiful property, and the well-being of those owners and guests who stay here.
When voting for new board members – PLEASE choose candidates who share these qualities. The Suites will be much better off if you support those kinds of candidates. It would also be helpful to have women run to serve, the Board needs a balanced membership to reflect the interests and needs of all owners and guests.
I thank Jeff Riechel for his service on the Board. After earlier Board membership (including as President) I reached out to Jeff and asked him to rejoin the Board in an emergency. He has been a valuable Board member and has become a very good friend.
Last, but not least, I have to shine the spotlight on Cynthia Reid, our General Manager. In my nine years’ service on the Board, my most important action was being President when we hired Cynthia as our General Manager. When you read her GM letters, or talk to her in the lobby, it is obvious how much she loves San Francisco, and this incredibly special property. Cynthia joined us after having served decades as the Chief Concierge at the Huntington Hotel and she helped elevate the quality of the customer service provided to our owners and guests. In recent years she has become incredibly effective at helping to find solutions to financial and estate planning challenges faced by our owners, while helping to maintain the financial health of the organization.
I love this property, and I am very honored to have had the opportunity to participate in helping preserve, protect, and enhance the building, and the people within. Thank you so very much for allowing me to have this opportunity.
Sincerely, Chuck Meibeyer