How my luck changed: Finding Manilow Suites
I was working for a competing temporary housing company when I first met Francine.
I was asked to have lunch with Francine after the word that my current employer was closing their offices in Chicago. I had never met Mrs. M but was privy to the industry gossip surrounding her 30 year old company. Naturally, I was anxious to meet this legendary entrepreneur and curious as to what it might mean. Would she be offering me a job or was it simply a thank you recently assisting with some apartments for their overflow guests?
We met for lunch on the last week of my employment with my previous company. It was a lunch of mutual curiosity. Francine asked me certain questions to figure out if I might be a good fit and I answered honestly while trying to ascertain exactly what this woman wanted from me. After the lunch she asked me if I might want to join her team. I had to think about it. I was only 23 and still trying to figure out exactly what I was doing in Chicago. Naturally, I had to call my parents for advice.
I spoke to my mother and had her go to Francine’s website so they had an idea of who I had met with and the company I was potentially going to work for – immediately my mom said “Your father knows her!” It turns out, in 1982, during the first years of Manilow Suites, my dad rented apartments from Francine for a number of years for the Chicago Hardware show.
I thought, if she’s been in business that long and my dad has had a good experience, it must be a good company to work for!
I couldn’t have been more right. It’s incredible the freedom of working for an entrepreneurial company! I’ll admit it took a few months of getting used to, but now, I do not think I could ever work in any other environment. Each of us is able to make things happen every day with this company and launch Manilow Suites’ reputation even higher.
-Sarah Wynn McWhorter