Waterline’s Newest Director of Operations, Zita Vinter
Meet Zita Vinter, Waterline’s newest Director of Operations. This Hungarian native has worked on our sister property, Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina for the past four years, and now she is taking her talents to Anna Maria Island! Learn about her journey and get to know the woman behind the scenes of Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club.
Where are you originally from, and what are your favorite memories?
I was born, raised and lived 30 years in Hungary. I am proud to be Hungarian. I have lots of memories which I cherish, but one thing is common with all; lots of laughs with friends. I mean LOTS! My newest memories are connected to Scrub Island as I lived on the island for over 4 years. I had a handful of friends there and will miss them dearly. I love to travel, so there are plenty of those lovely memories, too. My favorite country is Italy.
How many languages do you speak?
I speak Hungarian and English. I previously spoke fluent Italian, which I let go as English took over that part of my brain. Although I can still read, write and understand Italian; speaking Italian is a challenge. Because of the Italian, I can pick words out from Spanish conversations and I can also understand it – but only if it’s a life or death situation! Russian was a mandatory language in Hungary, so I studied it for 10 years. While I managed to erase Russian from my brain, I can still read the Cyrillic writing.
How did you get into the business of hospitality?
I was 30 years old when I first came to the US and didn’t speak any English (I was fluent in Italian – did I take the wrong direction?). Choices were limited without English so I became a housekeeper in the Tampa Marriott. As I was advancing with the language, I was able to take on bigger tasks and move forward on this career path; thanks to my boss who recognized that I could do much more. Prior to this complete career change, I was a production manager in Hungary coordinating and overseeing shoe factory productions of our Italian/Bally contracts. I LOVE shoes and crafting, and in two months I mastered how to make a shoe upper from cut to finish.
How long did you work at Scrub Island Resort and what did you like best?
I moved to Scrub Island 4 years and 5 months ago taking the position as Head of the Housekeeping Department. At Scrub Island I was proud of our beautiful rooms and villas and I loved the nature of the island. There were amazing views from each and every corner. I took the same pictures over and over because they always seemed to be even more amazing with different shades of blue. One of the best things about Scrub Island was to meet and work with my last GM, Federico. He is the all-time best manager of Scrub Island and he coached and prepared me for my new role.
As you prepare to open Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club what are you most excited about?
I am excited to be part of an OPENING team! I think that’s awesome and historical to be part of a new beginning. I love to know I am an important part of that. I am also happy to meet new people and to work with a new team, who is very enthusiastic! I also LOVE turtles, it is so exciting that Waterline is participating with AMI Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring.
It’s a known fact that you like shopping online. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve purchased and why?
I do like shopping online, I always have! Out of laziness, I guess and because I am a bargain hunter. While living in the BVI there is no other choice! I wouldn’t have been able to stay there for this long if I didn’t have online shopping and awesome colleagues who constantly brought my purchases to me. It always felt like Christmas; opening packages is the best!
I don’t recall purchasing any surprising items, unless we count the unpleasant surprise when opening a package and the item doesn’t meet the expectation.
Tell us something that few people know about you.
My dream job would be one that pays me to travel. The other dream job (for when I become rich and income won’t matter) is to open a dog shelter and take care of all the dogs who have been abandoned. I love dogs! Also, I enjoy discovering new places and love roller coasters! I spend my free time with coloring books, crafting, sewing and photography when not shopping. Lastly, I love eating as most of the real Hungarians do!