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Date of publication: Sep 2, 2019

Jonathan Allen

Member Services Director
Tokyo American Club
www.tokyoamericanclub.org

Date of birth: Dec. 5, 1970

Hometown: Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 13 (as of September 2019)

Jonathan Allen
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

Working in a hotel as a bellman and bell captain in Banff, Alberta. The hotel was Japanese-owned and Banff was very popular with Japanese tourists at that time. It was a great learning experience, to see the difference in expectations and how many cultural differences impacted our approach to service. I later lived here on a working holiday visa.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

I have always appreciated the golden rule to treat others as you would want to be treated. I think it started with my parents, both in their approach with friends and family as well as with visitors in summers working in a motel our family owned when I was young. When I joined Four Seasons Hotels much later, it was that same motto of founder Isadore Sharpe that resonated with me.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

That I have been able to work my way up from setting tables overnight in the banquets department to being a head concierge in Canada while being a regional director of Les Clefs D’Or, starting over in Japan and working my way to being the director of member services, is something I am proud of. However, all that has simply allowed me to meet many wonderful people, guests, colleagues and partners from around the world.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

I would like to continue to grow in my career here and I hope that I am able to help others make the most of their time here in Japan. Fortunately, my role at the Tokyo American Club affords me the opportunity to work with a group of colleagues who do that everyday for members who, in many ways, are more like family than guests.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Enjoy the differences. I think we have all had a day when things do not make sense to us but that should be part of the experience of living here. I have found that after living here for the past 13 years, I appreciate just as many things about Japan that I do about being Canadian.

Last updated: Sep 2, 2019