Shannen Tan: Cebu’s youngest hotel executive

·3 min read

Shannen Keisha L. Tan was handed the Mezzo Hotel to handle by her father Henry in 2017 when she passed the CPA board examination. She was 21 when the hotel opened on May 5, 2017.

Five years later, she has proven to be her father’s right choice for running the hotel.

Shannen shared that among the first things she did was to apply for ISO certification which she thought would take six months but which actually took two and a half years. The process, she describes as tough and that it included documentation, training and implementation.

“A lot of the people had to leave the company because they could not adjust. Everything is now performance-based,” she said.

Finally, the hotel got its ISO certification in October 2019: Mezzo is the only hotel in Cebu City that is ISO-certified.

Mezzo is a business hotel, 10 stories high with 186 rooms; there are superior and deluxe rooms, and junior, deluxe and premiere suites, plus a roomy barkada room good for 10 guests. The hotel has a swimming pool, fitness gym, foreign exchange service, laundry and dry cleaning service and a convenience store and wireless internet access.

For functions, Mezzo has two ballrooms with flexible configurations, making it possible to have smaller events and several events at the same time, or one big event for 800 persons. A plus factor for this hotel, located on the corner of F. Cabahug and Pres. Quezon streets, is that it has indoor parking (at basement and second floor) for 80 cars.

Now that the hotel is turning five years old, Shannen Tan remarked that running the hotel has made her mature faster. On the side, she was able to do some teaching (aside from being a CPA, she also has an MBA) jobs, attended business and training seminars, and is member or officer of several organizations like Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Taipan Toastmasters Club.

These days Shannen is excited about the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Barangay Mabolo’s GAD, which stands for Gender and Development. With this MOA, the hotel partners with Mabolo to develop the women and out-of-school youths in the community in skills training that will make them able to compete in the job market.

It’s a whole year program of skills training like in housekeeping, in various kitchen chores. It’s “not giving but a way of life of educating shared values,” Shaneen explained. This will culminate a year from now with a graduation ceremony and some of the graduates may just be hired by the hotel.

With her busy life as a hotelier, Shannen has had very little time for things she loves to do, like hiking, playing badminton. But she has not forgotten to practice playing the violin because she loves classical music. Nor has she found time to look for Mr. Right. But she is confident Mr. Right will find her at the right time.

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