TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Rich Friedman loves to help other people. It doesn't matter if it is offering a special night for first responders, giving Kindles to students who make straight A's, or providing employees to help make repairs to the Historical Society Building.
As the manager of the Tarrytown DoubleTree, Friedman has plenty of chances to help people in dozens of different ways.
"I don't have much family so helping the community feels like helping a big family to me," he said. "I just so enjoy helping other people or making people smile."
After growing up in New York and then moving south for more than 40 years, Friedman came back to Tarrytown to take over as manager of the hotel.
Friedman, along with his employees, have made the hotel the "go to" place for weddings and special events. It is so popular, "The Knot," has named his hotel one of the top places to have a wedding.
With more than 30,000-square-feet of entertaining space, Friedman said they are full most weekends for weddings, bar mitzvah's, anniversary parties and just about any other special event you can think of.
"We know how to make an event special and take care of people," he said. "And, we enjoy doing it. That's part of what makes us successful."
There is not a special event or cause that doesn't draw Friedman and his employees.
"We all have our special projects and we help each other get things done," Friedman said.
A few years ago he had an employee who always had a smile on his face and was attending college to become a hospitality manager but tragically, the young man died in an accident.
"It was heartbreaking, but I decided to do something about it and make sure he is remembered by offering two college scholarships each year to a person who is studying hospitality," Friedman said.
Then there is all of the cancer walks and runs, the food drives, the parades and the need for a discount special event for a worthy group.
"You name it and we are there," he laughs.
Another reason the hotel is so successful and loved by the public is they have an actual Care Team that comes up with projects and ideas to help the pubic.
"Hilton (who owns DoubleTree) is very community-minded and encourages us to do just that," he said.
He won the national award for the Best General Manager for his size hotel in the nation by the National Hotel Association. One of his employees has also been recognized for her work by the Hilton Company.
Friedman, who just had quadruple bypass surgery, said he's ready to go for a few more years now that he has had his "60,000 mile tune-up."
"I like what I do and enjoy doing it. What could be better?" he asked.
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