Management in Hotel Industry from Grandfather to Grandson

Kucuk Gungor Bag, General Manager of Roger Smith Hotel Photo by Cagatay Okutan Kucuk Gungor Bag, General Manager of Roger Smith Hotel

One of the most persistent names among the Turkish executives in New York’s hotels is Küçük Güngör Bağ. Having been working at Roger Smith Hotel for 11 years, Bağ holds a position as the manager of the hotel. Both his father and grandfather were also hotel managers. Bağ studied hotel management in Turkey’s Bolu İzzet Baysal University. After coming to USA, he started working in Holiday Inn Wall Street in 2004. And, since 2006, he has been working as the manager of Roger Smith Hotel, which is one of Manhattan’s rare family hotels, located on Lexington Avenue between 47th and 48th streets.

Roger Smith is known as one of the few hotels in Manhattan where the top manager is a Turk. Run by James Knowles, who has been a scultor since 1988, the Roger Smith Hotel is also known as one of America’s first chain hotels.

The Hotel Roger Smith was first built by Roger Smith Corp. in 1929 in Stamford, CT. Then, the corporation added to its chain Hotel Bittany on Broadway-10th Street and White Plains. In 1934, Brewster Hotel and Hotel Cameron were built; and, later in 1938, the firm bought Hotel Winthrop, which is on Lexington Avenue and 47th Street. That hotel was built by the Bina Hearn & Erich back in 1926. At that time, it used to have branches in New Brunswick, Massacusetts and Washington, DC. It was bought by it current owners in 1988.

Mentioning that his grandfather used to work as a manager at Sun Hotel of Turkey’s Adana and at a hotel in İncirlik Base in Adana, Bağ says: “My father also held a position at the hotel in İncirlik Base. We have been in the hotel industry from grandfather to grandson”.