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The Crowne Plaza Residency

Transitions are an important part of growth and success.

In 2007, while still filming our series SpotlightON I had the opportunity to grow with a company that was going through their own transition. The Crowne Plaza Hotel was being created as an upscale option for visitors in the Little Rock area. It was a huge project where a Holiday Inn was being upgraded to the new Crowne Plaza making a previous 3-star hotel a 4-star hotel experience. At this time I was filming our SpotlightON series and building connections with the artists and distribution companies. On the side I was still looking for gigs to do part time when I heard about the revamp to the Crowne Plaza where they were also looking for live entertainment for their “Rocks” bar.

At the time their hospitality human resource manager was named Cindy and I was able to set up a meeting with her about the opportunity to be their musician. In my meeting with her I told her a lot about the SpotlightON project and the connections I made including musicians, local sponsors and viewing audience.

I let her know that I was someone who had the knowledge to be a good marketing partner for them instead of just a performer. I must have impressed her because she passed my information to the manager and suggested a healthy offer.

The manager, Jim, wasn’t sure about it but I know Cindy saw how professional I was and that I would be a good addition to their hotel. When I first met him in his office he was still skeptical and looked at me with his finger towards me and said “You’ve got 30 days to prove your point”.

Fortunately, I had a residency there for almost 3 years 6 nights a week.

One really interesting thing is that the owners were also connected to business associates of my father. I didn’t know that going into the interview and neither did Cindy so I was proud that I earned this position on my talent and not just because of  the connection to my father's business.

This was the first time I was offered an opportunity to be a full time musician. I learned that I wasn't just an artist doing gigs anymore but I offered a real marketing partner for the hotel. A hospitality specialist I like to call it.

While I was there I saw them continue to transition from a 4-star hotel to a 5-star hotel. It was also voted as the best franchise in the country during one of the years of my residency. And the second year we made up a band, the Chameleons, for the new years eve party. Around the third year though I started to feel like my service was hitting a wall and I knew I needed to transition again to keep growing and they needed a new offering to continue their growth.

Playing at the Crowne Plaza significantly legitimized my resume and it helped me to establish myself as an artist that has partnered with reputable organizations. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Lee, Jamie, Lisa, the patrons, Jim the General Manager, the hotel owners and all the staff. I'm grateful for the successful platform The Crown Plaza provided for us all.


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