Q & A with Jim Croghan

Get to know Jim Croghan, of the grand Grand Del Mar

How many years have you been involved in the spa/hospitality industry?

Fifteen years now.

What was the path that led you into the spa industry?

I started my career working in the mortgage industry and, unfortunately for them, the company I worked for filed Chapter 11, which resulted in 1,500 people looking for work.  After thinking about what I could do, something in the wellness industry interested me.  The spa business was a growing field and I could get paid to pamper people and make them happier than ever - I was sold!

What is your favorite place in the whole world?

My favorite place is Chicago.  I love the renowned architecture, history and amazing food.  Did I already mention the food?  Places that you will have to eat are Charlie Trotter's, Everest and Tru.

If you could have any profession in the world, other than what you do now, what would you be?

Architectural design - I have always appreciated the process of and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambiance that reflect functional, technical, social and aesthetic considerations.

What is your motto or concept that you live by?

Trust, honesty, respect and surround yourself with the best of the best - and add some good old-fashioned hard work on top!  As a leader, my philosophy is to lead by example and never think that a job is too big or small.  By putting all of this together, there is a great synergy among an aligned group of individuals that understand the common goal.

What is your most treasured possession?

I have been fortunate to have several extraordinary mentors over my career whether in the fields of leadership, hospitality, marketing or people development that have made me who I am today.

What’s your go-to spa treatment?

When I am stressed, Thai Massage, and for relaxation, Traditional Swedish.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

It has been my commitment to working for luxury spas and resorts.  I truly am grateful to be in a business where it is your responsibility to make people happy and ensure they are taken care of.  At the same time, understanding that the better you manage all of that, the more successful your business model will be, creating a financial reward for others.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I think I would go for having more energy - I'm up at 5, passed out by 10 . . . 9, well, ok, I am usually ready to go to bed by 8:30 pm.  Laugh all you want!

Care to share any details on family life, i.e. spouse, partner, children, pets?

I have been blessed with an incredible family, married for 10 years and have two little boys, Landon, 9, and Luke, 6.

Tell us two things about yourself we don’t know.

I was on the wrestling team in high school and my first year of college.

I sold ladies shoes for 2 years.