What's On My Desk: John Vanderslice

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Ever wonder what powerful leaders, business execs and celebrities keep on their desks? Well, we’re about to tell you. Our biweekly “What’s on my Desk” feature will take a look inside the offices and at the desks of the world’s most influential power players.

John T. A. Vanderslice serves as the Global Head of Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, of Hilton Worldwide, which includes Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. Vanderslice joined Hilton Worldwide in September 2009 and has an extensive background in international hospitality and packaged goods. He has worked at such notable companies as Club Med, Inc. and Kraft General Foods. Here’s what John keeps close at hand.

Watch: My G-shock watch is solar powered and updates automatically every time I enter a new time zone. I keep it with me at all times so I’d say it is a permanent fixture at my desk no matter where, in what country and at what time I end up doing my work. It’s not an expensive watch but certainly plays a critical role in my workday and travels.

Bobble head Collection: I have a collection of bobble heads in my office, one of myself and a few of my colleagues at Hilton Worldwide. They are great conversation starters and always good for a laugh.

Great Hotels…#157 coffee table book: For my 50th birthday a great friend of mine gave me a coffee table book filled with photos of legendary hotels. It reminds how lucky I am to work in this industry and inspires me keep the legacy of luxury hotels alive with the work we’re doing at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad Hotels & Resorts.

Map of the World: Every day I take a look at a map of the world. Our vision is to be the fastest growing, most innovative hotel company in the world. That said, I’m always thinking about the work we’re doing at our existing hotels and where we’re looking to expand.

My Co-Workers: I have this great large u-shaped desk where my colleagues and I come together and really get to work. Many great ideas stem from the collaboration done around my desk. It makes for a fun atmosphere were a few of us can sit down and literally throw everything out on the table.

Golf Clubs: When I’m not working, I love to be on the golf course and have to squeeze in a round when I can. Keeping my clubs in my office allows me to find time to do what I love despite my busy work and travel schedule.

Kool Aid Pontiac Crash Photo: Before my time at Hilton Worldwide, I served as the senior brand manager for Kool-Aid. In 1990, I put a Kool-Aid sponsored car in a Nascar race in Bristol, TN. The driver was in a nasty wreck and at the time I couldn’t believe what I’d done. In the end, the driver walked off unscathed. Immediately after the race, everyone was talking about Nascar safety rules and regulations, featuring a photo of the driver’s helmet with a little scratch and the Kool-Aid logo. I keep the picture of the car in my office to remind me that positives always come out of those negative experiences.

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