Woodloch Pines Resort Honors its Employees

After an extremely challenging year and three-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Woodloch Pines, an all-inclusive family resort in the Pocono Mountains, was more eager than ever to recognize the hard work and dedication of its longtime employees. Although the annual in-person staff meeting and celebration could not take place, the Kiesendahl Family, who have owned and operated the business for over 60 years, took the time to honor and reward their loyal team members with gift certificates and golden nametags in recognition of their service.

Woodloch has a very special history, which is a large part of what creates such an exceptional staffing base. When Woodloch founders Harry and Mary Kiesendahl first purchased the property back in 1958, the couple was looking for an escape from the hectic hustle bustle of life in New York and a way to reconnect as a family. As the resort grew over the years, both guests and staff alike grew to become family members as the Kiesendahl’s welcomed them with open arms.

Of the 1,091 part and full-time workers, 199 have served the company for at least a decade. Considering that the hospitality industry is well-known for its high turnover rate, this is certainly a notable accomplishment. 99 of these staff members have worked for the family resort for at least 20 years and another 40 for 30-plus years.

One such employee, John Taninies, is celebrating his 40th year working at Woodloch. After graduating high school, Taninies began his career during the summer of 1981 working the waterski dock on the family resort’s lake. He also washed dishes in the evening and was asked if he would like to work in the kitchen full-time. He enjoyed the experience enough to pursue his culinary degree at Sullivan County Community College in New York from 1983 to 1985 while maintaining his job at Woodloch. During the summer of 1984, Taninies worked with a classmate who owned a catering company that was serving athletes and staff at the U.S. Open and the Los Angeles Olympics, after which he returned to Woodloch. He went on to help open the brand-new kitchen and bakery at The Inn at Woodloch, built to accommodate the growing number of guests at the Poconos resort. After 21 years of managing The Inn and spreading his talents across Woodloch’s various kitchens, Taninies found his way back to where he originally began his culinary career — the kitchen of the resort’s Main Dining Room — which he has been managing since 2006.

“John has been a dedicated part of Woodloch’s team for the past forty years. He continues to share his expertise and leadership to this day.  His strong guidance and work ethic have earned him the respect of his peers throughout Woodloch, and we have been fortunate to have John as part of our extended family,” remarked Bob Kiesendahl, co-owner and Food and Beverage Director of Woodloch Resort.

“Our staff members are second to none. We are where we are because of them, and we couldn’t be more grateful, especially given the past year’s challenges,” continued Bradley Kiesendahl, Woodloch’s President and C.E.O. “Thanks to their efforts, Woodloch has maintained its longstanding reputation of providing first-class hospitality through our most difficult days. We are deeply appreciative of the hard work, genuine care, and unending compassion our team members display each and every day.”

The Poconos resort is excited to announce that it is currently hiring new employees. For more information, please visit: https://www.woodloch.com/view/careers/.