The New Philosophers Series: Theresa Ito, Principal of Blue Mountain Solutions
Every once in a while you come across a leader who believes in nurturing others to genuinely care, inspire, and drive positive change. One such visionary is Theresa Ito, Principal of Blue Mountain Solutions, a company that embarks on a transformative journey with leaders, equipping them with skills that reach far beyond the boardroom. Theresa’s story is one of passion, evolution, and a profound belief in the power of growth.
Theresa’s journey begins in the world of global hospitality, where she developed a foundational understanding of luxury service, and creating unforgettable moments for guests. Her first decade was a whirlwind of delighting visitors, ensuring their experiences were nothing short of magical. “I was always thinking ahead for the guests. How could I make their stay memorable?” Reflecting on those early years. It was an era of sparking joy, one guest at a time.
The path to transformation
But life has a way of nudging us toward our true calling. As Theresa climbed the ladder to managerial roles, she discovered an passion for training. Guiding her team members, helping them develop effective processes, and infusing their work with joy became her new focal point. “I realized I spent a lot of my time training other people,” she shares with a spark in her eyes. It was here that the seeds of Blue Mountain Solutions were sown, driven by a desire to broaden her impact.
However, the metamorphosis wasn’t immediate. Theresa’s ascent continued, and with each step, her passion for nurturing others grew stronger. Leading large teams, she longed for a broader canvas, a way to touch lives beyond her immediate reach. This longing culminated in the birth of Blue Mountain Solutions, a conduit to touch not just individuals but entire leadership teams in varied organizations across the globe.
“I am an international woman” Theresa muses, explaining why the company’s international reach was crucial to her. With operations spanning Canada, England, Jamaica, and Mexico, her vision transcends borders. It’s a testament to her unyielding belief in the universality of leadership, the same principles that hold true regardless of the time zone.
The heart of Blue Mountain Solutions lies in its ability to guide businesses toward profitability, improved guest experiences, and engaged employees. Theresa doesn’t just believe in a top-down approach; she lives it. She begins by understanding a company’s vision from the CEO, immersing herself in their world. “What is the vision of the company? What is it that you’re aspiring to be?” she seeks to uncover.
The team performs a mystery guest experience with fresh eyes and years of hospitality experience. Then, after meeting with the leadership team one on one, she crafts a tailor-made 4-part leadership development program. It’s not a whirlwind seminar; it’s a journey that spans 4 months. This deliberate pace allows leaders to absorb, implement, and return with real-world experiences. “We see incredible growth from the leadership team, that impacts guest delight, engaged employees, and financial success,” Theresa explains. It’s not about a quick fix; it’s about cultivating lasting change.
Theresa doesn’t navigate this journey alone. The Blue Mountain Solutions team is a symphony of expertise and passion. With her husband, Takashi Ito, and a group of talented associates, they form a tapestry of skills that cater to each client’s unique needs. It’s a harmonious collaboration, fueled by a shared purpose to ignite transformation.
Beyond the boardroom: self-care and wisdom
Away from business, Theresa finds her self-care in movement. A lover of exercise, she’s a daily devotee to activities that keep her body moving and her mind clear. Yet, self-care is more than physicality for her; it’s about touch. “I love to massage my closest people, my children and my husband,” she confides, underlining the deeper connections that sustain her.
As Theresa gracefully embraces life beyond the milestone of 50, she radiates an infectious zest. She speaks of her newfound energy and the excitement of an empty nest. “I thoroughly enjoy this new found freedom and enjoy traveling more than ever with my work and also for pleasure.” she shares, her laughter echoing the spirit of her words.
Theresa’s philosophy on aging and beauty resonates deeply. Born and raised in the Caribbean, in a family of four sisters, she believes beauty transcends mere appearance. It’s confidence, a genuine smile, and the way one carries themselves. “Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes,” she asserts, embodying the ethos of acceptance.
And what about aging, the inevitable march of time? With a thick head of silver locks, Theresa embraces it playfully. She cherishes the idea of earning smile lines, like her mother, a testament to a life well-lived. As she reflects on the words of Aristotle, Oscar Wilde, and Roald Dahl, one quote stands out–“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” It’s a sentiment she embodies with every laugh line etched proudly on her face.
A wisdom-fueled journey Her journey, with all its twists and turns, has led her to a place of fulfillment, a place where her impact on others is boundless. In Theresa’s story, we find a philosopher of leadership, a storyteller of transformation, and a believer in the beauty that emanates from within. The advice she’d share with her younger self: “Don’t change a thing. Life is good,” she affirms. Blue Mountain Solutions stands not just as a company, but as a testament to Theresa’s unwavering belief in the potential of every leader to make the world a better place.