Meet Tony DeSalvo, CEO of the Harmonic Hospitality Group (harmonichg.com).
Tell us a little about your business. – The Harmonic Hospitality Group owns and operates nine restaurant/bars located in Iowa and Omaha. We just opened two fantastic concepts in the Capitol District. The venues are called The Stuffed Olive and Roxxy.
How did you get started in the business? – I got my start in the hospitality industry when I was in high school. I put myself through college by working in restaurants and bars in the Chicago area. I loved it so much that I decided to make it my career!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – My biggest challenge professionally was navigating the restaurant/bar group I was with through COVID-19. I felt a profound responsibility to my team members and the guests we served. We made it through as best as possible by ensuring as many of our team members were employed as possible and by keeping the community safe when they honored us with their patronage.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – My most significant professional achievement has been mentoring leaders in every organization I have participated in. Being a leader is a privilege with many responsibilities. No responsibility is more important than being a role model and teaching team members to be the best they can be. I take great pleasure in being a positive part of someone’s life and career.
Tell us a little about your family. – I am blessed to have a fantastic wife and son. I am so proud of them both for who they are and what they do, personally and professionally. They make me a better person, and I would not be where I am without them.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – The most significant turning point was when I met my wife, Pamela. An equally important time in my personal life was becoming a father.
A professional turning point was when I joined the Harmonic Hospitality Group. The ownership group truly believes in me, and I believe in them and what we can do together. I feel we can accomplish anything!
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Spending time with my family and baking sourdough bread! I’ve had my sourdough starter for almost six years, and it’s still going strong!
Who inspires you? – My mother was the biggest inspiration in my life. She was the strongest, most caring person I have ever met. She was truly a genuine person and helped shape my leadership style since I was young.
I have had the opportunity to work with founders of several restaurant and bar concepts in my career. Each has influenced how I think and look at the hospitality industry in wonderfully different ways and how to think, act and lead like an entrepreneur.
What local nonprofit organization are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. I feel their mission and the work they do is so very social and important to the community and individuals on a personal level.