2016 – Tom Klein

The Fairmont

Midway through his over 30 year distinguished career as an international hotel executive, Thomas Klein followed his heart to San Francisco. Serving as regional vice president for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in California meant Mr. Klein would oversee a group of high-end hotels in Sonoma, San Jose, Santa Monica, Berkeley (Claremont Hotel & Spa) and Newport Beach. But most important, he would assume command of the brand’s spectacular century-old flagship, The Fairmont San Francisco, recently voted SF Business Times Best Places to Work.

Thomas Klein’s self-styled “total engagement” philosophy — honed at the helm of properties from Australia and South Africa to North and South America — emphasizes daily interaction with staffers at all levels, immersing himself “in the heart of the house” and empowering employees by establishing personal connections that he believes are vital to the bottom line. As an accessible community ambassador, he is equally comfortable manning a podium in black tie as he is donning work clothes to help by volunteering at Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco.

Thomas served San Francisco’s hotel and tourism industry well as former Hotel Council Board President and Vice Chair of the San Francisco Travel Association. He was the Chairman of the University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Advisory Board, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, the St. Francis Hospital Foundation and the California Hotel and Lodging Association. He also served on the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee.