Hotel owner gives car away

Hotel owner Kathy Patel, (second from right) is shown with Jeff Guido and meghan Keys (center) to whom she recently gifted a vehicle. Patel, who has owned over 20 vehicles over the years, has never sold a single one of them, claiming she would much rather keep the cars in the family, whether that be biological family or work family, it doesn't matter. “Giving them to my employees as a gesture of gratitude is much better,” she said. Also shown are Dillon Dnepp, general manager (left) and Heer Patel, (right.)

Innkeepers at the Best Western Braselton Inn were gifted a Cadillac Escalade on Jan. 22 as a surprise gesture of appreciation from their employer, hotel owner, Kathy Patel.

Jeff Guido and Meaghann Keys came to Patel in 2019 seeking employment after falling on hard financial times.

“When I came to find out they were going through such hardship, we decided internally that we would give them living quarters at the hotel itself,” said Patel.

After less than two years of employment, Guido and Keys have worked their way from entry-level front office positions to their current position as innkeepers, serving as the primary caretakers of the property.

“They are on schedule 24/7,” said Mrs. Patel, who owns multiple businesses with help from her son, Heer, and General Manager, Dillon Knepp.

“We need dependable, reliable staff like them so we don't have to worry about the property when we aren't here,” she said.

In addition to the Braselton property, Patel owns the Aiden by Best Western in Warm Springs, Ga., which is minutes from Callaway Gardens and home to the Historic Little White House, also known as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's second home.

Prior to the Jan. 22 giveaway, Patel kept the Escalade parked at the hotel overnight for the couple to borrow for personal use.

“I didn't want them walking in the middle of the night or any odd hours,” Patel said.

After almost two years of the couple’s unwavering dependability, honesty, strong work ethic and overall positive attitude Patel and Knepp felt a shared desire to do something amazing for them.

“Despite their hardships, Jeff and Meaghann are such happy and uplifting people, so we want to give them something to call their own,” he said. “When you are a multi-business owner, finding reliable help is a blessing,” said Patel. “We rely on staff to run the show for us. While they can easily leave us and find jobs somewhere else, I'm not going to find good, honest employees quite as easily,” she said.

It is critical employees show dedication to working in the company’s favor while showing a shared sense of pride in the work they do for us, Patel said.

“It's not always about the money,” Patel said. “It's all about showing gratitude and helping those who help me.”

“Jeff and Meaghann are a perfect example of the quote, “a rolling stone gathers no moss,” Patel said. "If you keep moving jobs, you are going nowhere, but if you stick to one job and take pride in everything you do in that role,” Patel said, “that determination will take you places, and that is more valuable than anything money can buy.”

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