Arkansas Business names Mid-South Division General Manager Rusty Mathis named Executive of the Year


Arkansas Business names Mid-South Division General Manager Rusty Mathis named Executive of the Year

Born in Memphis, raised in northeast Arkansas, Rusty Mathis learned career lessons the hard way, starting as a bellman in the hotel industry.

After high school, Mathis moved to Hot Springs and took a job at the Holiday Inn at Lake Hamilton, where the general manager “saw something” in the young Mathis. “He took me under his wing and taught me the hotel business,” Mathis said. “That was my college education.”

By the age of 22, Mathis had been recruited as GM for a new Holiday Inn in Camden, where “I was in a little bit over my head.” He went on later to manage a well-known restaurant in Hot Springs, the Sawmill Depot.

His on-the-job, up-through-the-ranks training in the hospitality industry taught him valuable leadership skills, and when Mathis entered the food service sector because of its more conventional work schedule, he took those skills with him. His management style is that of servant leadership. What that means, Mathis said, is taking responsibility for employees’ success, as well as being accessible and approachable. Helping employees succeed translates to great productivity on the job.

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