Last week, Bill Morrissey, a local hospitality legend and good friend to many of us, lost an extended battle with leukemia. He’ll be sorely missed. I’ve asked Pete Mijahlov to share some of his thoughts as a tribute to Bill. As you know, Pete is founder of Parasole Restaurants and served as Meet Minneapolis board chair from 2013 to 2014.
Pete was a staunch advocate for accountability and metrics in how we operate as an organization. During his tenure, he helped to recruit other strong business-oriented board members. Among them was Bill Morrissey, founder and CEO of Morrissey Hospitality. Bill served as a Meet Minneapolis board member from 2009 to 2014.
Pete and Bill were good friends and Pete has shared some reflections on Bill's life and legacy:
I’ve known Bill Morrissey for over 25 years. Our company was engaged by the St. Paul Companies, the owner of the St. Paul Hotel, to assist the St. Paul Hotel in the development of the St. Paul Grill. Bill was the General Manager of the St. Paul Hotel. I had the pleasure of working with Bill on this project and had the opportunity to observe, first hand, his commitment to excellence, his understanding of the importance of making decisions based on optimizing the guest experience, and his unique team-building leadership style.
Over the following years, I’ve had the privilege of participating with Bill on the Minnesota Restaurant Association Board, the Hospitality Minnesota Board, and most recently, as a Member of the Meet Minneapolis Board.
Bill was truly “Special” and will be missed. He was passionate about his family, his company, his community, and the hospitality industry that he loved.
He liked a cold gin and tonic and a good cigar. But most importantly, he liked being around people--of all sizes, shapes, skin tones and backgrounds.
He understood the power of the human connection and the importance of the equation between taking care of your employees, who in turn, took care of your guests. He was not bashful in sharing his opinion, but he did so with thoughtfulness, respect, and a sense of humor. He was committed to his community, particularly young people, and over the past decade the Morrissey Hospitality Company Golf Fund Raiser raised over $300,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities.
Bill has left some distinctive footprints in the sand, and all of us will benefit by following them.