Feliz Navidad

Eat. Drink. Inspire.

By Jennifer Perna


A consultant is often hired to fix problems or suggest improvements for a company. I love walking into a company with fresh eyes to help leaders, owners and managers look at things differently. My greatest joy is recognizing existing, untapped talent already working at these companies.

More often than not, this talent just needs more coaching and structure in order to grow. They may be stuck in the wrong position, but have the heart and passion for the business. I help assess this and make sure the right person is in the right role. The employee is not the only person that needs to make this impactful adjustment. Leaders, owners and managers must also make a significant change to their existing processes to encourage the growth of this individual.

As leaders, owners and managers, the greatest gift you can give your employees is an education from your own experiences. Spend time mentoring your employees. Actual structured, scheduled, individual time with each of your team members. Do not get interrupted. Do not reschedule this meeting because something else is “more important”. Communicate with your employees and provide undivided attention. This is my best recommendation for sales growth.

Providing one-on-one mentoring and seeing successful career growth is the most rewarding result to a true leader. I am thankful for the numerous managers and owners that coached me along the way as I started my career. The gifts they shared with me many years ago are still meaningful to me today.


Christmas is always the time of giving and receiving. I was blessed with a wonderful family that always celebrated the traditional way. Making Christmas cookies. Listening to Johnny Mathis. Sledding in Upstate NY. Sure, all those things were great, but all Christmas meant to me was what presents are for me under the tree??? I just couldn’t wait until December 25th at 7 am when I was ready to rip.

Early Christmas morning, we would sit at the top of the staircase, three of us girls, in our jammies in a row, waiting and waiting for Mom and Dad to get out of bed. Geez, they took forever, but it was worth it once we saw the presents overflowing from below the tree. We were lucky and fortunate kids. Our parents worked really hard and gave a lot to us. As I look back now, they probably gave us too much. But we were kids and we really didn’t know what else was happening in the world. All that mattered was if I got that Barbie dream house and that pair of Jordache jeans.


I'll be in Puerto Vallarta again for Christmas this year. I am looking forward to my daily walk along the Malecon to see the same sights. My favorite walk always happens during the early morning hours of December 25th. On Los Muertos Beach, there is a long line of unwrapped gifts on the beach. One section for boys and the other section for girls. A few elderly people wearing Santa hats organize the boxes in lines, getting their annual system together. They are assembling these gifts for kids in the community to be able to select one each. These elderly people obviously understand the true meaning of Christmas. They are sharing what is the truest of all gifts; love, time, compassion and thoughtfulness. How wonderful that I am reminded of this true gift of Christmas.

Tags: catering

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