John Oppenheimer is the founder and chairman of Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality, which manages over 100 properties across the U.S., including hotels, resorts, golf courses, residential communities and event venues.


In addition to launching Columbia Hospitality in 1995, John has also founded five other successful, hospitality-related businesses.


In this episode, John discusses a broad range of topics from his book, Keys to the Room, including business insights, advice for young entrepreneurs, and how to “let your children be the teachers,” as John puts it.  


In the episode we will learn:

  • (1:52) - How did John's childhood help shape him into the person he is today?
  • (2:52) – What were some important lessons John learned from his parents?
  • (6:28) – What were some of John’s childhood business ventures?
  • (8:28) – What does John think entrepreneurs get wrong
  • (10:01) – Why isn’t John a big believer in five-year plans
  • (11:36) – What’s John’s number 1 rule about phone calls?
  • (13:05) - What does he look for when interviewing people to join his team?
  • (16:39) – How is John helping to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit within his own children?
  • (19:19) – How did John’s children get involved with the family business?
  • (21:20) - Why is hiring family so important to John?
  • (22:51) – What does John mean when he says he provides veto power to his family?
  • (25:19) – How do John and his wife, Deanna, manage their professional and personal lives alongside their entrepreneurial spirits?
  • (27:15) – what is the ‘why’ that motivates John?
  • (28:41) – What are John’s top tips for hosting memorable dinner parties?












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