Skip to content
Get Started
April 10, 2024

From Resorts in Jamaica to Hospitals in Virginia: Amir Murray’s Story of Success

Amir 2Hailing from the island of Jamaica, Amir Murray began gaining experience in the hospitality industry from an early age. His grandfather ran a successful restaurant and Amir worked closely under his wing, growing in his love and passion for food service while learning the ins and outs of the business. As a teenager, he discovered he enjoyed interacting with guests from all over the world while working in the water sports department and food service at a Sandals Resort on the island.

Amir had the opportunity to come to the United States through a student/work visa program. He was placed in hospitality at a large hotel chain in Virginia. He did such a great job, the company sponsored him so he could continue to work in the U.S. Amir's adaptability and eagerness to learn propelled him through various roles while there—from room service to bartending, he was always absorbing and learning everything.

His first management position was as a food and beverage manager at a 60-room hotel. Though he enjoyed and found success within hospitality, he wanted to try something different, so he made the jump to healthcare.

The transition from hotels to hospitals was the change of pace that Amir was looking for. He began working as a patient ambassador, soon finding himself at a large hospital in Virginia, gaining the managerial experience he was after. After a year and a half in healthcare, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everything became very uncertain for Amir. He went back to working in hospitality briefly but found that the pandemic had greatly impacted that industry as well. 

It was at this point that an opportunity at HHS piqued his interest. He applied for a traveling position as a patient services manager on the business excellence team (BE Team). Senior Vice President of Culinary Karl Sukley reached out to him directly, remembering him from a previous interview, and offered him the job on the spot.

Amir had his eyes on eventually becoming a culinary director. Seven months ago, Amir applied for the culinary director position in Newport News, Virginia, and has been in that position since. Amir believes the impact of his position goes beyond just providing meals, but also providing moments of comfort to patients and opportunities for his team, in addition to contributing directly to the growth of HHS. “When I go home, I really feel like I'm making an impact on people. One of the things I like about working at HHS [is that] you can actually see the growth, over a period of time, and you can contribute to the growth,” he shared about his experience. 

Amir 3

His leadership style, a blend of high expectations and compassionate understanding, was shaped by his personal and professional experiences, including the guiding principles he inherited from his parents and grandfather. He mentioned that he finds it important to care about the why behind any issues a team member might have, saying, “it could be a case where I can actually help [a team member] with [the problem]. I’m the type of leader where I like to be in the mix with them.”

Throughout his career journey, Amir has simultaneously persevered through the complicated, stressful, and daunting U.S. immigration process. He recently became a U.S. citizen, something he does not take lightly. It is not just a personal milestone for Amir, but a testament to his determination. He had to overcome all kinds of obstacles in the process, including when he realized he’d forgotten his passport at home while on the way to his scheduled citizenship interview. Luckily, it all worked out!

Amir 1

From a young student in Jamaica to a successful U.S. citizen, Amir is proud of his rich heritage and the hard work that brought him to where he is today. When he’s not on the job, Amir coaches his son’s soccer team and enjoys indulging in documentaries about current affairs. His love for music, trips to the beach, and his regular visits back to Jamaica keep him connected to his roots while he continues growing in his, now, home country.

New call-to-action

Other posts you might be interested in