Pamela Bissonnette, 2021 Outstanding Women in Business recipient
Pamela Bissonnette is the Chief Operating Officer of Duprey Hospitality
Pam Bissonnette has been with the Duprey Companies since September 2000 — first as the director of sales for the Grappone Center, then rising through the organization to become the chief operating officer of Duprey Hospitality, overseeing the Grappone Conference Center and five hotels (Courtyard by Marriott, The Comfort Inn, The Fairfield Inn & Suites, The Residence Inn and Tru by Hilton).
Whether she’s opening, closing or renovating a hotel, Bissonnette successfully manages whatever business venture lies ahead in an extremely organized manner.
She thrives on watching the projects come to life and celebrates with her team that is responsible for “making it happen” under her leadership.
It’s no surprise then that Bissonnette has gained the trust and respect of the president and owner, Steve Duprey, becoming one of his closest advisors.
She is a noteworthy individual in New Hampshire’s hospitality industry and through her volunteer work, including Dress for Success.
As a board member of the New Hampshire Travel Council and New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association, Bissonnette is known for her can-do positive energy that she brings to every effort.
You’re known for multitasking under pressure. Can you share any tips?
I often start the day prioritizing the tasks ahead. Setting priorities is the best predictor of my success, knowing what needs attention versus what can wait. By focusing on the most demanding tasks first, I tend to not lose focus on the goals or challenges. The other important quality of multitasking is accepting your limits and knowing when to ask for help or delegate. It took me a long time to realize that delegating doesn’t mean you are incapable of carrying out a task. Quite the contrary, it means you know yourself well, your capabilities and boundaries, and when you need to share the workload.
What is your leadership style?
I believe great leaders inspire their associates by genuinely connecting to them through a consistent presence and visibility. My leadership style definitely involves a hands-on approach. I have worked in all departments at our hotels and understand the challenges that each position has. I am willing to assist at the properties whenever needed and hopefully have instilled a sense of teamwork and support for our associates. I think when leaders develop mutual respect, associates are more likely to work harder and feel valued. I try to set the example for others to follow by being accountable to the same values and standards I expect.
You’re involved in community organizations and encourage your staff to be as well. What are the benefits of getting involved in the community?
This is a rewarding part of the job. Being involved in all aspects of different community organizations, boards and the hospitality industry, has allowed for great networking opportunities, continued learning and sense of contributing to something important.
Have you experienced discrimination because of your gender?
I have not felt discrimination due to gender, however I have felt less valued or respected at times. In the renovation and construction of properties, I do my best to research the project ahead, be prepared and have confidence in my own abilities. I am happy to see more women in leadership roles in hospitality, but we are a far cry from where I hope we can be in terms of representation.
What advice do you have for young women just starting their careers?
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is an inevitable part of success, from which we learn.
- Embrace the most challenging situations as they are always opportunities for growth.
- Keep learning. The key to growth, innovation and success is knowledge.
- Reduce negative influences. You will meet a lot of doubters along the way — avoid people that don’t inspire or encourage you.
- Be confident, know your worth. Don’t underestimate your potential.