Linda Miller, Executive Housekeeper at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock Celebrates 33 Years

Published Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 12:08 pm

With more than three decades to her credit at the landmark resort hotel, Linda Miller holds a distinction only matched by 2% in the vacation exchange industry

Blowing Rock, NC – May 16, 2018 — When Linda Miller began working at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock as a housekeeper in 1984, little did she know that it would be less than two months before her leadership skills were put to the test when her supervisor left on maternity leave. Miller stepped up to the challenge and unexpected circumstances led to her promotion of Executive Housekeeper a mere 60 days after her first day on the job. It’s a position the Vilas, NC native proudly celebrates this week, 33 years later. And one she credits to two entities: proprietor Kent Tarbutton, who she says “made me feel like family on the day he bought Chetola (in 1997)” and “my faith and trust in the good Lord above,” says Ms. Miller. “I was divorced with no income when I came here. I think He brought me here.”

Miller certainly has excelled at Chetola and for over the last quarter century has kept the resort in elite company. It took her team only eight years to receive the first of the coveted RCI Gold Crown Resort property designations by RCI, the worldwide leader in vacation excellence. It’s an honor the resort has earned each year since. Only a select two percent of RCI-affiliated resorts meet RCI’s strict requirements for recognition and have earned the award.

“Linda’s remarkable drive, consistency, and desire that all things sparkle have kept Chetola shining for 33 years,” says Tarbutton. “Winner of the RCI Gold Crown 26 years in a row is incredible. Most properties are lucky to receive that even once. Linda’s care of the place and the people has made all the difference. I sure have enjoyed all these years that I’ve been present to work with Linda and her great staff.”

The Gold Crown achievement is a profound award for any property, to be sure, but when it’s accomplished with a limited staff, it’s truly extraordinary. Currently Miller oversees a crew of 29 that takes care of a combination of one to four-bedroom condominiums (including 89 Chetola rentals and 36 timeshare units), the eight-room Bob Timberlake Inn, the 42-room Chetola Lodge, and the literal loads of laundry produced by both lodging and spa guests. “My biggest challenge,” says Miller, “is keeping enough staff to get all the work done. But my standards are high, whether I have 20 or 40 staff members. We wouldn’t have received the award if we didn’t have high standards.” But Miller is quick to deflect the praise from herself, pointing out that she “couldn’t do this” without her right-hand quartet of Lois Clark, Michelle Main, Shelby Mitchell, and Emma Townsend. “It’s a team effort. You can count on them and that means everything.”

In fact, Clark, Main, and Mitchell have each been named Chetola’s Employee of the Year while Townsend was one of last year’s nominees, and recently retired housekeeper Nancy Gentry is a two-time winner. “That’s my biggest accomplishment,” says Miller. “To have all those staff members out of the hundreds that Chetola employs recognized for Chetola’s most prestigious award, that’s special.”

Thirty-three years’ worth of cleaning, particularly frenzied turnovers during sold-out time periods such as Symphony by the Lake or Thanksgiving with a shoestring staff, can be stressful. Miller has found balance by doing what she loves: singing in her church choir at Beaver Dam Baptist Church, fishing (“She lives to fish!” says Clark), and taking care of her mother. But mostly, she says, “You have to love what you do. I’ve always enjoyed cleaning. And I certainly enjoy cleaning here. You know, it all goes back to family. I’ve got my personal family, I’ve got my church family, and I’ve got my Chetola family. So I’m blessed. It’s been something else to work here.”

Chetola Resort is an 87-acre vacation destination in Blowing Rock, NC, featuring Chetola Lodge, the Bob Timberlake Inn, privately owned one to four-bedroom condominiums, Timberlake’s Restaurant, the Spa at Chetola, and the Chetola Sporting Reserve, which offers clay shooting, fly fishing, and archery and pistol ranges. Chetola holds the distinction of being one of only two Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodges in North Carolina. Onsite activities include paddle boating, tennis and pickle ball, hiking, swimming, bonfire, live music, fitness classes, and a fitness center. The resort is surrounded by a 3,600-acre national park with more than 25 miles of multipurpose trails. The Blue Ridge Parkway is less than a mile from Chetola. The quaint mountain village of Blowing Rock, with its charming boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway, is a short walk from Chetola. 185 Chetola Lake Dr., Blowing Rock, NC 28605. 828.295.5500.

 

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