Kristn Assad, General Manager of The Joule 

Upscale Living Magazine had the exclusive with Kristin Assad, the General Manager of The Joule. Here is what she had to say:

How did you begin your career in hospitality?
After graduating with a degree in hotel management from Texas Tech, I took a position in Austin with Omni Hotels.  From there I moved to Dallas and went on to work with The Mansion on Turtle Creek before coming to The Joule.

What attracted you to working for The Joule? 
The Joule was incredibly intriguing as it was the newest luxury player in Dallas. I really appreciated the level of thought and detail that went into the design and restoration.  I also wanted to be a part of Headington Companies’ commitment to positioning downtown Dallas as an exciting destination for locals as well as visitors.

The Joule has a unique aesthetic and vibe. What makes The Joule unlike any other property in the city? 
From the glass-fronted rooftop cantilevered pool and museum-quality art collection to a world-class spa and award-winning dining and cocktail destinations, The Joule is truly unmatched. Headington Companies is passionate about art and design and how it contributes to cultivating experiences you really can’t find anywhere else.  However, I would say what truly sets us apart is our team. At every level, we care about giving our guests a memorable visit.

What does a typical day for you look like as General Manager of The Joule? 
Every day is a little different.  Anytime I’m not busy collaborating with and mentoring our leaders I love connecting with our guests. We have the most interesting travelers – from CEOs to brides and grooms, international artists to staycation locals…they all see and experience Dallas and The Joule in their own unique way, and it’s a treat to get to know them.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges in your role?
I would say one of my biggest challenges is communication and getting a consistent message out to 500+ employees. We’ve grown so much over the years, so I see this challenge as a victory too. Keeping the teams up to speed on events and guest needs can be challenging, but it really just indicates that we have a lot happening on the property every day – it’s a problem I’m happy to have.

Who would be your dream guest at The Joule?
I’ve never been a star struck person (and we’ve been lucky to host several famous guests at The Joule), but if I had to choose my dream guest, I would love to have Betty White.  I’ve just always loved her and wanted to meet her.  I remember watching Golden Girls when I was little with my mom.  Besides being a successful woman, her positive nature and sense of humor are precious. I imagine that having a martini with her would be filled with endless laughter.

What type of guest does The Joule attract?
The Joule attracts all different kinds of guests, and that’s exactly what we set out to do.  The Joule is meant to be a place where everyone feels welcomed all of the time.  Guests who appreciate our experience the most have a passion for art, food and approachable luxury.

What do you feel has been one of the highlights of your career?
Overall, I would say that the best part of my career has been the people.  The employees I’ve been able to grow and develop over time, and the guests I’ve had the pleasure to help make memories.  I have a real passion for people, and my job allows me to access my passion while teaching those around me.  My career allows me to build relationships, collaborate and bring people together for a common goal.

What’s your favorite city to visit? Where did you stay?
I adore Paris.  I was there on my honeymoon and stayed at the Prince de Galles.  My husband and I also love to stay at St. Cecilia in Austin. 

Describe Dallas….Dallas is?
Home.  It’s absolutely an up-and-coming city that continues to see growth in the food, hospitality, and retail scene.

What is your definition of luxury?
Luxury to me isn’t just about beautiful surroundings, but rather an experience where every single detail is taken into consideration.  When my needs are anticipated and exceeded, I’m happiest.  

What is the most impressive part of the hotel?
The most impressive part of the hotel is by far the overall design and architecture, as well as the extensive art collection we have on the property. Not a day goes by that I don’t notice and appreciate the restoration work that our company did on this neo-Gothic building. The historical mixed with the modern was executed perfectly, I think. To have salvaged mosaics next to a Warhol, right around the corner from a breathtaking 8,000-square-foot subterranean spa – not everyone can pull that off, yet it’s what makes The Joule so special.

About The Author

Deve Sanford

Influenced by her international upbringing and travels, the importance of being culturally aware resonated with Deve at an early age and continues to lead her down her career path. After receiving her degree from Southern Methodist University in Fine Art, Foreign Language and Business, Deve has worked in various career sectors and is currently a partner in a thriving international distribution company and actively curates art exhibitions worldwide. Creating a solid career reputation and building on her success she began incorporating more of her personal aspirations into her life and now dedicates her free time in supporting organizations that transforms the lives of women and children in developing countries and continually participates in the encouragement of cultural art exchange platforms that give artists the opportunity to exhibit internationally.

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