Large Group Orientation with Amanda Gallant


In this episode of Training Unleashed, Evan speaks with Amanda Gallant, Director of Human Resources at Sunday River about orientation, training across multiple lines of business and training volunteers.

As with many seasonal businesses, Sunday River has challenges that come with transitioning to their busy season and adding over 1100 team members with 400-500 new hires—especially this year with the added challenge of managing the transition during a pandemic.

When Evan asked about the big idea Sunday River implemented to manage orientation this year, this is what Amanda had to say:

“Our orientation, up until to this year, is super fun. We have this big blow out every October typically where we get 400 to 500 people that come back to the resort—it’s typically rehires and very few new hires that come to this big orientation. But it is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and we talk about the resort updates, new things—capital project that we’ve done over the summer. It’s like our welcome back homecoming party. Um, so this year with COVID it’s been a challenge because we still want to have this fun atmosphere and community building piece of it but we really can’t get a group of 400 to 500 people in one room at the same time.

So, what we decided to do, and actually our CEO of Boyne, Allan Curcher, sent an email to us promoting what a large retailer was doing in their parking lots to get more people just to be outside and do things. It was a drive-in movie theatre. It was in this retailer’s parking lot. And so we were looking at it… and he was proposing it with the idea of can we do this with guests? Is there something—a fun activity we can do with guests. One of our team members on the senior team members, our GM of the Summit Hotel said, ‘why don’t we do that for orientation?’

Listen to the whole episode to find out more about Sunday River’s COVID-style orientation.

About Our Guest

Amanda Gallant is the Director of Human Resources at Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine. She started at the resort in 2013, holding various positions in the Marketing department before transitioning into Human Resources in 2017. Amanda graduated from Husson University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration. Having grown up in the Western Maine Mountains, her return to the area after college was a natural fit.