From a tourist worker in Mostar, Blago Krešić progressed to the manager of Donald Trump’s exclusive club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. Trump offered him this position at the recommendation of his own father Fred, the man who was delighted by Krešić while Krešić was still working as a manager of the hotel The Breakers in Florida.
“Dear Mr. Trump, I am honored with having the opportunity to work with you in the past two years. However, personal reasons force me to notify you that I will not be able to continue working in the next season. As a small sign of affection, I am giving you a monograph of Dubrovnik and invite you to certainly visit that city one day with your family. Yours respectfully, Blago Krešić” – the 59-year-old Krešić wrote this in mid-nineties and thus became probably the first man from the Balkans to ever hand in his termination to Trump, a businessman known for his controversial catchword “You’re fired”.
Today, Krešić family rents apartments and one original, old wooden house in Zagreb. Krešić spent 25 unforgettable years working in some of the best world hotels, resorts and clubs in the popular summer resort Palm Beach, Florida. He collected many photographs, and the most favorite ones among them are precisely those on which Krešić is with Donald Trump and members of his family.
“Donald was a strong, but very operational boss. He did not like to talk a lot or have a lot of meetings, and he had incredible exe for details. He insisted on professionalism and high standard, which was normal, given that he owned an exclusive club where the annual membership fee amounted to 100.000 USD,” Krešić recalled.
Krešić was born in 1937 in Mostar. He graduated from catering school and then he studies hotel management in Zagreb. After that, he went to Switzerland, where he first worked in a hotel and then invested 15.000 earned CHF in education, which turned out to be the best investment in his life.
Doors of the hotel management world soon open wide for him so Krešić, after working in the Swiss hotel Monte Palace, leaves to New York where he started working in Waldorf Astoria in 1969. The Breakers in Florida was already then the top of the world hotel scene, an exclusive place where entrance was forbidden to blacks and Jews in 1696. It burned twice and was reconstructed twice, and in 1973 it was declared a historical monument.
It was a place where almost all greatest world and American individuals appeared, hotel whose restaurant served up to 1.200 visitors during Sunday nights and where Krešić served five U.S. presidents – Ford, Bush, Nixon, Reagan, and then Trump, who is yet to sit in the chair of the U.S. President.
Trump’s mother and father Marry Anne and Fred were frequent visitors to The Breakers and Krešić served them regularly for 18 years. Krešić was the heart and soul of the hotel: he gave interviews for local newspaper and in hotel brochures he was represented as one of the five most important managers, a man without whom The Breakers would certainly not have the status it had those years.
One day, the director of The Breakers brought to him a well-groomed visitor and introduced him to Krešić. It was Donald Trump and he had a special message – greetings from his father and mother who still remember him gladly and who did not want to miss the opportunity to greet their longtime friend.
When Blago Krešić celebrated 21st anniversary of working in The Breakers, he felt nostalgic for his homeland and family and he decided to return to Croatia. However, the destiny wanted things to happen another way and his return home lasted much shorter than Krešić imagined.
In 1995, Krešić received an invitation from Donald Trump: he offered him the job of food and drinks manager in his new club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, for weekly wage of 2.000 USD, and the authority to gather a team for the hotel and make the system work.
“It was a major opportunity, but when my daughter started begging me not to leave, I could not resist her so I thanked Trump kindly and rejected the offered job. Three weeks later, a new letter came to my address. Now the wage amounted to 2.500 USD per week so the family agreed that it was an opportunity that should not be missed. That is how I became Trump’s manager,” said Krešić.
After returning to Palm Beach, Krešić realized that the job is very responsible and difficult. He broke the business cooperation with the president-elect of the USA only two years after the arrival to Mar-a-Lago, wishing to go home to his family.