Meet the Team: Pat O’Donnell Practically Moves Mountains
There’s no denying that Pat O’Donnell is a hands-on guy. As the director of maintenance and construction for Hansen Properties for 16 years, Pat considers himself a “working manager,” responsible for the daily and continuous upkeep of the Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center and Blue Bell Country Club. He was involved in the hotel’s beginning—clocking 80-hour workweeks during its inception—and continues to keep the physical integrity of the historic gentleman's estate and country club one of the top destinations/wedding venues in the Philadelphia area today.
With a staff that's divided into maintenance and construction teams, Pat doesn’t ask his crew to do anything that he wouldn't do himself. “I gleaned a solid professional ethic from working for my dad's painting business when I was younger. We worked nights and weekends and did the job right.” He added, “I’ve always had two or three jobs running concurrently. It's what I do. I pride myself on jumping in to do the work here as well.”
Pat's love of multitasking was put to the test when he and his crew worked diligently to wrap up over two million dollars of renovations, which took about seven months to complete. “Our team here is the best. Working around the schedules of the guests is our first priority—keeping things running efficiently with little disruption is key. Additionally, the maintenance and construction teams are constantly fielding requests from the staff running the hotel and the country club.”
Considered a “farm of the future,” there’s always challenges to ensuring Normandy Farm’s historic charm is maintained while integrating premium amenities. In addition to daily routine maintenance duties, the construction teams removed walls, built bridges and created spaces that benefit the properties and enhance the guest experience.
Pat estimates that about 85 percent of construction projects are done in-house. “We took on the conception and development of the highly successful outdoor terrace, fire pit and bar, which opened at the end of summer 2014.” Additionally, he mentions that his team recently completed the total renovations of 113 rooms within the hotel complex to make them more aesthetically pleasing (freshening them up with new carpets, lighting, wallpaper and paint), functional (adding updated outlets and ports) and relaxing for the guests. The large conference center was also overhauled to incorporate state-of-the-art equipment so that corporate and other business clients have the best at their disposal.
“I enjoy coming to work every day, because my day is never the same twice in a row,” explained Pat. “The owners and management teams here truly care about all of us who dive into the trenches to make positive things happen. The ultimate goal at Normandy Farm and Blue Bell Country Club is to listen to our guests and to make sure their experience here is second to none.”
Located just 25 minutes from Center City Philadelphia and situated in the heart of Blue Bell, Pa., Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center is more than a meticulously restored American landmark—it's a fully wired, high-tech hospitality venue. Relax on our grand terrace, sip a cocktail in America's oldest silo, play a challenging game of golf on our championship course, plan an event with us or dine on our delectable farm-to-table cuisine. It all adds up to One Historic Experience.