President & CEO
Location: Denver, CO
Industry: Workforce Lodging Management Solutions
*Second Year Honoree*
In these unprecedented times, Carlos Abisambra’s leadership offers a safe haven.
Abisambra, President & CEO of Travelers Haven, said that while many companies in the industry had to close their doors, he fought to keep theirs open by remaining focused on sustainable and scalable growth opportunities and operational efficiencies.
Still, having to lead his team through unchartered waters of the pandemic was a challenge he never had to face.
Additionally, he identified new target verticals to help support company growth, reduced operational costs, and helped the company create a new AI, known as “Dolores”, to help automate internal operations which to date has automated 19 processes, freeing up 60+ hours of work for support teams. He also worked with internal teams to create unique solutions and partnerships. As a result, Abisambra saved jobs and ensured company survival.
He said that over the last year, he learned how essential transparency and communication are to a company’s success.
“Transparency has been vital for Travelers Haven. As soon as COVID-19 began to impact the United States, the company started sending communications to associates, and after layoffs were made, email communications were sent out three times per week,” he said.
Promoted to his role in January 2020, he was faced with leading in a time of worldwide crisis. Quickly acting, he made some difficult decisions to ensure the company’s survival including layoffs, reduced pay/hours for some team members and budget cuts. Abisambra was the first person in the company to take a pay cut amounting to 40% of his salary.
Needless to say, Abisambra leads by example. He makes things happen.
Over the last year, Abisambra has created more transparency, frequently communicating, and being empathetic. He has excelled in empowering team members to work cross-functionally in order to create unique solutions and improve operational efficiencies. He has worked to improve customer satisfaction, which helped Travelers Haven increase their Net Promoter Score (NPS) and saved jobs by applying to and receiving the Paycheck Protection Loan from the government. Perhaps most importantly, he instilled trust in his employees and learned the importance of being resilient and agile as a leader.
Additionally, the leadership team and Abisambra have focused on transparency, communication, and trust to help ensure company survival. When COVID-19 began to spread in the United States, they formed a leadership task force to monitor CDC guidelines, local restrictions, and ways to keep employees healthy.
“The leadership team made critical budget cuts and developed innovative solutions to help improve operational efficiencies. The team also developed partnerships and created unique solutions.”
Abisambra considers his associates to be advisors, not order takers.
“I will never have enough time to understand certain topics to their degree so when complex issues and opportunities arise, I work with the subject matter experts to determine the best path forward,” he said. “We may not reach consensus and ultimately disagree, but we will always row in the same direction. I understand we will never be perfect but, if we are improving across the board, I call that a success.”
Ambisambra emphasized the importance of carving out time for continuous learning and recharging.
“You never know when the next crisis will hit,” he said, “and it will not care that you put off that class or topic or that you were already running on fumes.”
"I understand we will never be perfect but, if we are improving across the board, I call that a success."