Gail Mandel

Wyndham Destination Network President & CEO

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What Was the Worst Advice Someone Gave You?

The worst advice someone gave to me was years ago, and my children were young, and I would try very hard to leave to be able to have dinner with them. Then I would go…

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How Do You Manage People Remotely?

For my direct reports we use video conference on the computer on a quite a regular basis, a Skype-type tool. Then I also make sure that I'm out there for, at the locations for the…

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How Do You Conduct a Post-Mortem?

If we're looking at a project, I'll have the finance team do a financial analysis, once again, go back to the fact that I love data. I think that the facts are our friends, and…

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Do You Conduct Your Performance Reviews in the Office or Off-Site?

I generally conduct mine in my office. I'm fortunate in that I have some more casual seating in my office, so it's not sitting around a hard table but it's sitting in soft comfortable chairs…

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What Kinds of Questions Do You Ask in Your One-on-Ones?

I ask questions of, "If you were sitting in my seat what would you be doing differently?" An additional question that I ask, when I'm sitting with my associates is, "what do you think we…

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How Do You Handle Receiving Criticism?

I appreciate it, I do believe that feedback is a gift. Because of the fact that I want to be the best that I can be for our team, I appreciate when people give me…

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How Do You Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes?

I was in the Netherlands where we have a great product offering through our Landal brand and I got to out on site and look at our product and I've stayed in the product about…

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Tell Us About a Mistake You Made and What You Learned

When I came back to work full-time, because I had a more limited schedule when my children were young. When I came back full-time, I took the CFO role for the division that I'm now…

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How Do You Deal With Legacy Employees?

I think listening is critically important as a leader. So I listen to legacy employees because I believe there's value in their experience. At the same time, when we know that there are things that…

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What Role Does Data Play in Your Decision-Making Process?

So, I'm a highly analytical person. I started my career as an auditor at a public accounting firm, so data is critically important to me. I like to consider the data not only from, internally…

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How Do You Make Meetings More Effective?

I keep everyone on point, and if there is a really good idea that comes up, I say "that's fantastic, let's table that, let's put that as a follow-up item." Then I do make sure,…

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What's the Hardest Part About Being a CEO?

Well the hardest thing for me personally is really talking in front of large groups of people. That's not something that's come naturally to me. But I know how important it is and because I…

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What's the Most Surprising Thing About Being a CEO?

The most surprising thing is how my non-verbal cues translate. So, there was one day over the last three years since I took this leadership role, where I had just gotten a call from my…

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What Was Your Last Dream?

The dreams I remember are generally dreams when I'm trying to work out problems. It's about, generally, I'm being chased, and I have to find a solution. So those are the dreams I remember.

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What Happened to You as a Child That Changed Your Life?

Receiving the opportunity to have a full scholarship to Pace University changed my life. I am the first in my family to graduate from college. Having that opportunity, the full tuition scholarship gave me the opportunity…

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How Do You Get Executives to Do What You Want?

I truly believe that the hammer approach is not the most effective approach. Now sometimes, after you've spent time explaining the approach, and people are still not coming along, so I do believe in coming…

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Is Micromanagement Always Bad?

I think that micromanagement sometimes has to play into the overall toolkit of a leader, in that, if that final decision needs to be made you need to step up and be the leader. So…

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Do You Need a College Education to Succeed?

Oh, I don't think there's one formula for success, and I don't think you need a college education. Do I think it is an advantage? Yes, I think it's an advantage.

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What’s a Specific Problem for Women in the Workplace?

We may put our thoughts together in a different way than some of our male counterparts. It's learning to be able to ensure that you're being authentic but at the same time having your message…

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How Do You Find a Mentor?

What I did through especially my early career I would look to people who I wanted to emulate. Leaders in the organization who I said, "wow that person's really smart," or "that person seems to…

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What Rituals Do You Perform Before a Stressful Task?

I take some deep breaths, I really try to clear my mind and think about the task at hand. Not be focused on the extraneous, as to whether I just came out of sitting in…

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What Role Does Instinct Play in Your Decision-Making Process?

I think instincts are critically important and the great thing is that I've been part of this organization now for over 20 years. So I've been in hospitality and in the hospitality industry and I've…

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Do You Have Any Tips for Managing Millennials?

Within our company we have an associate business group that we formed, where we let millennials come together and give us some feedback as to how they think we can do better with working with…

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How Do You Recruit and Retain a Diverse Workforce?

Well, diversity is so important. As I said, we've got 10,000 associates that are out there in 200 offices. 6,000 of our associates are outside the United States for Wyndham Destination Network. So diversity is…

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How Do You Stay in Touch With Employees as You Rise Through the Ranks?

I do think it's important to get out to the actual locations. We have 10,000 associates that are within my group that are in over 30 countries and 200 offices, so I can't get to…

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What Do You Splurge on in Your Business That's Worth It?

The customer experience. The whole point right now in the hospitality industry and in vacationing is that people want an experience. So if you can come to one of our vacation rental properties or one…

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How Do You Overcome Indecision?

I take a moment or maybe I take more than a moment. I think about the facts and sometimes I'll even sit down and I'll really put down the pros and the cons of the…

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What's the Smartest Way to Cut Costs?

It really depends on what your cost base looks like so I don't know that there's a generic answer. But the first things I would cut would be those items that are not touching the…

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"Began her career as a senior auditor at Deloitte & Touche"

Gail Mandel is President and CEO for Wyndham Destination Network, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies. Wyndham Destination Network is the world’s largest provider of professionally managed, unique vacation accommodations – from houseboats and cottages to rental homes and timeshare resorts. Its network comprises more than 112,000 properties in over 100 countries and consists of a collection of renowned brands including RCI, The Registry Collection, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Hoseasons, Landal GreenParks, Novasol, and James Villa Holidays.

Gail has more than 20 years of financial and business experience in the hospitality industry. As President and CEO, she oversees the overall operations and strategy for the timeshare exchange and vacation rentals businesses.

Prior to this role, Gail held senior finance positions at Wyndham Destination Network, Wyndham Worldwide, Cendant Corporation and HFS Incorporated. She began her career in the financial industry at Deloitte & Touche as a senior auditor.

Gail received her bachelor’s degree from Pace University.