While attending college in Maryland, Kyle Highberg saw a job posting for a part-time desk clerk at a Hilton Hotel. He was promoted in his first six weeks to a supervisor position and shortly thereafter, his General Manager had a conversation with him and convinced him to stop studying the effects of the Gulf Stream Current on the Eastern US Seaboard and start focusing on the wonder of the hospitality industry. He is now the General Manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Omaha West, a premier hotel for visitors of West Omaha.
Tell us a little about your family.
I’ve been married for nearly ten years to a wonderful and beautiful woman. She’s known me since I was 7, so it helps that she understands me, inside and out. We have three children ages 7, 5, and 4. My son, the oldest, is one of the coolest kids I know, and I have two daughters at home who just love their Dad.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
While I would consider my wedding as the best day in my life, I think the arrival of my son was the major turning point.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Since he was two, my son has known the words for “There is No Place Like Nebraska” so football has always been a great pastime of mine. But my son’s passion for football has developed him into a very accurate thrower, and that’s become our favorite thing to do now!
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
Maybe not too interesting, but I have lived in two countries, 12 states, and 18 homes between growing up in the Air Force and working in the hotel industry.
What are you the most proud of?
I think I am the most proud of being the father of three spectacular children.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My father once intervened on a young Lieutenant in the Air Force berating a Chief Master Sergeant for not saluting him when the young officer walked by. After a nice “chat” with the young officer, my Dad looked at me and said, no matter how high I climb in my life, never to treat anyone, professionally or personally, lower than me.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Does weather control count? I mean, it’s January in Omaha…does anyone really enjoy this weather?
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
I am actually a trained musician. I play drums, percussion, piano, and I sing a little. I do this for my Church but wish I could do it more!
Which talent would you most like to have?
I honestly wish I could maintain and rebuild cars. I don’t have the time or the patience!
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
I’m currently reading Resolving Conflict at Work. How’s that for a thriller?
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Mama Alvino’s in Bellevue
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
I always thought Teddy Roosevelt would be interesting. Anyone who gets shot, THEN delivers a speech, and then goes to the hospital? That man was tough.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?
They can always email me. Or call the hotel…but be ready to book a room or two! Kyle.Highberg@hilton.com. You can also visit them online at http://hiltongardeninn.hilton.com/en/gi/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=OMAWEGI.