By Brett Hafstad, General Manager
Just six months of being on the team, Francisco, who pulls all the strings at our Gowanus location, has already been an integral piece of the team with his willingness to be wherever needed! We took some time to catch up with him this month to see what drives this Miami-at-heart New Yorker!
BH: To start off, why don’t you tell me a little bit about your past, where are you originally from?
FP: I was born and raised in New York City actually. My parents are originally from the Dominican Republic but once they wanted to start a family, they decided to move to America and what better place to go than NYC! I grew up in the Washington Heights area which was great because there’s a large Dominican population, and made it easy to keep in touch with traditions.
BH: How did you get introduced to the Hospitality industry and what do you like best about it?
FP: When I was 21 I had an opportunity to move down to Miami and finally took it. I had lived my whole life in New York City and wanted a change of scenery. I planned to go down for a couple weeks and see how I enjoyed it and after a day, I was sold! Hospitality is such a major industry in Miami so once I decided I was going to stick around, I started exploring my options at a couple different hotels. It was such a breath of fresh air from what I had been doing; the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world and to help positively impact their time, it was extremely enjoyable and eye opening that this could be more of a long term option.
BH: With how much you enjoyed your time in Miami, what finally brought you back to the Big Apple?
FP: There were a couple things but the main was certainly education. When I made the decision to move down to Miami, I had switched my major a couple times working hard to figure out exactly what I wanted to be doing. After getting my feet wet in the Hospitality industry down there, I knew that was what I wanted to focus on and the first step was finishing up school to help work towards that. Once I finished, there were a number of opportunities in New York as well so I wanted to keep Miami as more of a place I could enjoy on vacation!
BH: With so much experience in hotels, what drew you to Bond and what was your first impression?
FP: With the onset of COVID, it really hit the hotel industry and things were a bit slow to bounce back. I started to explore options that would still allow me to be in a position to meet new people and have the ability to assist them. As soon as I met some of the Bond team members, I was sold immediately. The community atmosphere that’s not only present at each location but also within the Bond team, it was a whole new feeling that excited me. My first impression was that I was just blown away. Walking into the space for the first time and how truly unique the Gowanus location is, I was speechless.
BH: What’s your favorite Bond location?
FP: Although I truly do love the Gowanus location, I’d have to say my favorite is definitely the City Center location in Philadelphia. I spent a couple weeks there helping cover the space and there are so many unique aspects that really stick out to me. The wrap-around terrace provides wonderful views of the city, the zen room, and just the overall history of not only the building, but also the area of the city that it’s within.
BH: So now that you’ve been with Bond for some time, what’s your favorite part about the job?
FP: I would have to say meeting so many unique people and entrepreneurs. It’s exciting to see a small team running with a new idea I’ve never heard of and the opportunity that they could grow into a household name; I love being a part of their story. And to take that a step further, the process of trying to get different teams to link up and possibly work together. When hosting happy hours I’m always trying to be engaged as to help companies link up and help one another.
BH: When you’re not at work, what are your favorite pastimes?
FP: Growing up, sports have always been a huge part of my life, I’ve always enjoyed playing baseball and football. Nowadays, I still like to be as active as possible as well so most weekends you can normally find me riding a bicycle around a different part of the city. I’m also a big animal lover; over the last year, my girlfriend and I have fostered 13 kittens. It get’s tough at times because we want to keep them all but it’s nice to have some temporary friends for our cat, Leon.
BH: Is there anything else that you’d like to share about yourself that others may not know?
FP: I always shock people with the size of my family. I have 6 siblings and between them, there are 24 nieces and nephews! So family has always been a big part of my life and there’s never a dull moment especially at get togethers.
BH: Well thank you so much for letting us get to know you a bit more and for everything you do for Bond day in and day out!