SAN FRANSCISCO, CA – The Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel in San Francisco, appointed Lilian Tolliver as Chief Engineer of the 556 room historic property. The Palace is very proud of Lilian as she accepts the position as the hotel’s first female Chief Engineer and continues to make history at the iconic landmark.
Lilian started working at the Palace in 1996, on a temporary basis, in the Accounting department. Her skill and dedication earned her a permanent position in January 1997. She took on a greater role, handling both accounts receivable and payable, until 2000. Having an interest in Engineering, Lillian accepted a job as the department’s Administrative Assistant. This gave her hands on experience, real time interaction with daily operations and the motivation to further her career in Engineering.
While there have been women Engineers on the Palace team, Lilian has been the first in many roles throughout her Engineering career. With the ongoing support of Palace management and Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, Lilian was the hotel’s first female Engineering Apprentice (2005), the first female Journeyman Engineer (2009), the first female Assistant Chief (2016) and now in 2021, the first female Chief Engineer.
Over the years Lilian has proven to be a valuable member of the Palace team. At the start of the 2020 global pandemic, the Palace was forced to close its doors. With no Chief Engineer in place, Lilian was asked to take on the role of Acting Chief Engineer. She stepped up to oversee the delegation of daily operational tasks including fire, life and safety management and water safety and conservation. Engineering continued to play a significant role during the hotel’s closure. Working with a very limited staff, Lilian led the team through processes to keep things running and to make for a seamless transition when the hotel reopens on May 27th, 2021. She has been instrumental in creating and implementing policies and procedures to be compliant with new Federal, State and Company standards and ensure the safety of guests and employees alike.
Prior to joining the Palace Hotel, Lilian served in the United States Army for six years. She then worked for three years at Hilton Hotels in Concord, California. In 1994, she joined the Kimpton Group and two years later moved to the Palace.
In her new role as Chief Engineer, Lilian manages a staff comprised of Painters, a Carpenter and a team of Utility, Apprentice and Journeyman Engineers. She oversees all aspects of Engineering and works with her department to support the operation of the hotel. She also manages departmental budgets, capital projects and the historic preservation of the iconic hotel.
Lilian looks forward to reopening the Palace on May 27th, 2021 and welcoming her colleagues and guests back to the hotel. She is proud to work alongside a team of professionals as they adapt to inevitable change during these times. She hopes her achievements inspire other women to reach their professional goals. She is eager to accept new challenges that encourage growth and support the evolution of the industry.