Celeste Contois

This entry is part 7 of 33 in the series

Celeste Contois Papa Gino’s, Inc.Celeste Contois

Papa Gino’s, Inc., parent company of Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo 

Years with company:
I have been fortunate to work for two great New England brands (Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo) for the past 37 years.  During this time, I have held several positions in the company, including general manager for Papa Gino’s, regional vice president of 65 restaurant locations. And my current position as senior vice president of human resources.

Current position and your immediate supervisor:
Senior Vice President of Human Resources, reporting directly to President and CEO Rick Wolf.  As the head of human resources, I lead the talent acquisition and management areas, compensation and benefits, team member relations, communication and training initiatives.

Education degrees and professional/volunteer affiliates:
I am a member of the New England Human Resources Association (NEHRA) and The Council of Hotel & Restaurant Trainers (CHART)

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
I’ve had numerous mentors throughout my life and career including my parents. The key characteristics of my mentors are that they have always been positive, proactive people who taught me to believe in myself. They had great vision and created a belief in me that nothing is impossible if you are willing to challenge yourself and create dynamic teams.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements or a defining moment of your career to date?
I am most proud of the culture that we have built at Papa Gino’s.  As a member of the HR Group, we effectively work with all teams from operations to management to marketing. People are my passion and every time a member of our team succeeds in reaching their career goals we win. People are the foundation of every great organization and it is through career guidance, mentorship and training that we can make a difference.  Our number one guiding principle is that “Great People Define our Company,” which includes our team members, guests and community!

Most challenging part of your job:
The most challenging part of my job is to find the right people with the passion for service and operational excellence.

Thoughts or advice for upcoming younger executives:
It’s important for young executives to surround themselves with strong positive people and mentors.  The restaurant industry affords a number of opportunities for young executives to build lifelong careers.  I would encourage everyone in a leadership role to continuously raise the bar and never be afraid to take a risk!

Hobbies:
Hiking, biking and visiting national parks.