November 11, 2023 | Careers
As a young Army recruit in the 1980s, Vince Stubbs might not have foreseen his long and successful post-military career in hospitality — but he definitely appreciated his lodgings on the last night before basic training.
The Army had booked Stubbs and his fellow recruits into a hotel, giving them carte blanche to enjoy the accommodations.
“We were allowed to order room service and partake in all the hotel amenities,” recalls Stubbs, “and I thought to myself, ‘Oh, this is great!’”
The next morning, things changed. Fast. The new soldiers boarded a beat-up school bus and headed to the base. As they disembarked, heavy duffle bags on their backs, a drill sergeant was waiting at the bottom of the bus steps to demand they drop and do pushups.
“Our feet hadn’t even hit the ground yet,” says Stubbs, who realized he’d left his oh-this-is-great thoughts back at the hotel as the drill sergeant loudly reminded everyone they’d volunteered for this. “It’s funny now, but it wasn’t funny then!”
Intense drill instructors, countless pushups, and rigorous training were eye-openers, but Stubbs says his time in the military was worth it and, what’s more, it continued a family tradition.
Stubbs’ father had served in the Korean War and his older brother was a veteran of the Vietnam War. Their service — and sacrifice — impacted him profoundly.
“I think my father’s favorite word was sacrifice,” Stubbs says. “He was willing to give up his freedom, his very life for an ideal — even if he didn’t see those same freedoms when he came home from the war. He sacrificed so his children could see those freedoms. He would always say, ‘If you want anything in life, you have to be willing to sacrifice.’”
The elder Stubbs often carried the American flag in his local Veterans Day parade, deeply proud to be not only an American but also a veteran of the U.S. armed forces. His example inspired his son to enlist as well, a decision that paid dividends for all future endeavors.
“My time in the Army allowed me to pay for college, purchase my first home, and, in some small way, honor my father,” Stubbs says.
Experience gleaned during his military stint has heavily influenced Stubbs’ 25 years of success in hospitality sales. He joined OTO back in 2010 as director of sales at Residence Inn San Marcos and was ultimately promoted to regional director of sales. He oversees hotels in Southern California as well as Scottsdale, Arizona; Chicago, Illinois; and Nashville, Tennessee.
Stubbs is quick to admit he didn’t get there by himself.
“The military really stresses the importance of teamwork, that there is no way to succeed just on your own,” Stubbs says. “This is one of the greatest lessons anyone can learn. Together we can accomplish anything. On our own, it’s nearly impossible.”
Stubbs’ SoCal home puts him near some of the largest military bases in the country. He has taken advantage of that proximity to help others. For example, he previously served on the board of Fan of the Feather, a group that provides transitional housing along with a variety of other needed services to homeless and at-risk veterans.
“So many great success stories working with that organization,” Stubbs says, providing an example of service rooted in sacrifice.
Just like his father told him.