The Regent is run by women. “Our Operations Manager is Sherri McEwan, and Irene Parsons does our accounting and finances,” says Brady Beruschi, the General Manager of The Regent Hotel. “Ninety percent of the staff are women, which is common in the hotel industry. Women do every job here. The best bouncer we ever had was a woman; she could diffuse every situation.”
Additionally, The Regent Hotel is home to long term employees. The Regent Hotel is where work and social life come together for Lucia Bonanno and Maureen Beruschi.
Lucia Bonanno has a sharp wit and a wicked worth ethic. A staple in The Regent Hotel kitchens since 2008, Bonanno thrives off interacting with the people around her. Bonanno shrugs off the frequent butchering of her name by fellow staff. “I just don’t worry too hard about getting their names right either,” she kids.
An Italian Canadian unable to stay ‘retired,” Bonanno has managed the kitchen at the Regent pub though she currently does all the prep. ‘Prep’ is a small sounding word, but to Bonanno, prep means making all of the soups and lasagnas and whatever else needs doing. “I know the jobs, so I just help wherever I’m needed,” she says.
“I like it here,” Bonanno laughs. “It’s like family, so it’s nice to come to work.”
Bonanno is happy to share recipes, as long as they aren’t ones she utilizes at The Regent Hotel. Her loyalty runs deep, thanks in part to the way she has been embraced by the people she works with.
For Maureen, the Beruschi’s are part of her extended family, and she has been a staple at The Regent Hotel for 47 years after her father convinced her to work at the pub when she was seventeen.
Ever an optimist, Beruschi’s positive outlook and her passion for helping wherever she can is obvious. “My grandmother told me three things that if you do, make life go a little easier for you,” she explains. “The first is acceptance. Accept life, because who are you to think nothing bad will ever happen to you? It will. Second is forgiveness, we’re all human and we make mistakes. Third, be giving, and never expect anything in return.”
Beruschi believes there is nothing more important than people, and with Canadian Mountain Holiday guests Maureen met 44 people a week from different parts of the world and different walk of life. “They were my formal education, and I learned a lot,” she says.
One day, Beruschi recounts, an avalanche hit a group of skiers. A Japanese guest was caught in it. He was alright and Beruschi was tasked with sitting with him in the lounge. “I gave him some tea,” Beruschi recounts. “He drank it, then he started to just cry and cry, then he was okay. It was as though he realized what had happened to him; how close he was to dying.”
One summer not many years later, Beruschi was on a raft that overturned in the white water. “When I got back to the hotel, I cried and cried,” she said. “Then I was fine. It made me remember the Japanese guest, getting the fear out and then getting on with it.”
Like Bonanno, Beruschi wouldn’t trade her experiences at The Regent Hotel. She can’t imagine working anywhere else.
“I’m grateful,” she says. “For all of it, it’s been a great life.”