Business Culture Catalyst, Former Hard Rock International Executive & Author of Culture That Rocks!
A Training & Development veteran for 30+ years, Jim Knight facilitates on a variety of interactive topics, including sessions around organizational culture, world-class service, building rock star teams, hiring & retaining “rock stars”, employee branding, performance management, philanthropy and facilitation training.
Jim cut his teeth in the training field through the Hospitality industry, starting out in the snack bar at Gatorland Zoo and as a restaurant staff-level employee for Olive Garden and then Hard Rock Cafe. He eventually became the head of the School of Hard Rocks, running point on all learning & development functions for Hard Rock International.
Although part of a small training group that supported all cafe, hotel and casino properties, Jim Knight’s role at Hard Rock involved many facets of organizational training, including creating/managing all staff and management training materials & programs, facilitating its corporate university, overseeing management training locations, producing training DVD’s, directing company e-Learning initiatives, facilitating leadership transitions and traveling to property locations to deliver on-site classes & measure standards.
Jim has put his experience and creativity to work, which has consistently developed cutting-edge training concepts. During his time with the Hard Rock brand, his team won coveted Telly Awards in 2000 for their “guest service” video, took top honors in 2007 for their “menu rollout” video, garnered Training Directors Forum’s 1998 prize for “Reengineering Training” and won Brandon Hall’s Gold Best in Class Award for their “Service Recovery” e-Learning course. Jim Knight was also recognized by Training Magazine as representing one of the Top 125 training companies in the world out of all industries & businesses. Jim has since been featured in Forbes Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, Business News Daily and Fox Business News.
Jim has a music degree in Vocal Performance & Education and taught in the Florida public school system for 6 years, before catching the “hospitality bug”. He is a long-time member of CHART (The Council of Hotel & Restaurant Trainers), previously sat on the Certification Governing Board of the National Restaurant Association and started a local networking group (The Training Summit) with over 100 active members in Central Florida, to share best practices and discuss common issues with other industry professionals. Networking is a big part of his success.