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Michael St Laurent

Michael St Laurent

Director of Information Technology
Gemstone Resorts International

What are some of your responsibilities?
As Gemstone Resorts continues to grow, a large portion of my time is being spent on IT project management. The majority of our new management contracts include extensive renovation. Creating critical path timelines and then managing the implementation process is a full time undertaking. My primary responsibility is to oversee the streamlined operation of all IT departments and to ensure technology solutions align with Gemstone Resorts business objectives.

What do you like most about your job?
Gemstone is embracing technology as an enabler. Our philosophy is to utilize technology to give our employees the information they need to create a memorable experience for our guests. The proper implementation of technology allows our hotel/resort employees to focus on the guest and not on the process. 2006 is a big year for IT initiatives at Gemstone Resorts, and as the IT Director I couldn’t be more excited about the strategic direction of our company.

What do you like least about your job?
Being on a cruise with my wife in the Bahamas and still having to troubleshoot a server crisis. I both enjoy and dread the necessity to be constantly connected.

Where did you go to school? What was your major?
I went to a private business school in New Hampshire called New Hampshire College. My major was Accounting and I moved to IT after being an accountant for almost ten years. I often tell people that I moved away from the dark side!

What is your favorite movie?
The movie I’ve watched over and over again is the dramatization of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel DUNE.

What is your favorite song?
Music is so mood based my favorite song changes often. One of my favorites is Lateralus by TOOL.

What is your favorite line from a movie or song?
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What was your first job?
I worked in my cousin’s pizza restaurant. Ever since, I’ve been looking for a way to utilize my talent at tossing pizza dough.

What was your most interesting day at work?
The day I had to create a server room in one of our restrooms at the Gemstone offices. We had outgrown the office space and it was the only area I could use.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Build or buy a house for my parents in Utah so that they would be able to live closer to their grandchildren.

When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing?
Twelve years ago, I moved to Utah to ski. However, I would now rather play golf than go up the hill.

What is the next technology to impact the hospitality industry?
Content rich PDA’s and other electronic devices in the consumer market are certain to affect our industry. Expectations from our guests will only continue to rise as the proliferation of technologically advanced devices hit the consumer market. Connectivity in hotels and resorts for these devices and future technologies will continue to be an opportunity for differentiation.

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