“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
WHEN DID YOU JOIN THE HSMAI GREATER NEW YORK CHAPTER?
I joined the HSMAI Greater New York chapter in December 2004 – a little more than 12 years ago.
WHY DID YOU JOIN? WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATING FACTOR THAT COMPELLED YOU TO BECOME A MEMBER?
Tom Travers, GM of the Beacon Hotel, was President of the HSMAI Greater New York Chapter at the time, and asked me to volunteer on a committee. I was going through a job change that year and the motivating factor was to be more involved in the New York Hospitality Community and to learn more about our industry by attending the informative and valuable Programs and Seminars that our chapter offers. I was heading up Membership in the very beginning.
WHY DID YOU BECOME ACTIVE IN THE CHAPTER?
To be honest, it is fun being actively involved in the hospitality industry in New York City. The level of engagement with industry colleagues not only helped me make lasting friendships, but also provided me with “inside” knowledge that I was able to use at my “day to day” job.
YOU WERE CHAPTER PRESIDENT 2009-2010. WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?
I have trouble singling out one accomplishment. I was able to engage the Attractions & Services part of our industry, have the board of directors engaged and motivated, saw the entire chapter as a team, worked on informative and entertaining programs, and was very proud, as a team, to have won “HSMAI Chapter of the Year” two times in a row.
HAS THE HSMAI GREATER NEW YORK CHAPTER HAD AN IMPACT ON YOUR CAREER? IF SO, HOW?
I truly believe that a majority of our job is creating and building relationships. Our chapter meetings helped me expand my professional network, and as I said before, through this network I was able to gain inside knowledge of the NYC Hotel/tourism market that I was able to apply at my job. This is still the case today!
EVEN AFTER YOUR TERM AS CHAPTER PRESIDENT, YOU HAVE CONTINUED TO SERVE ON THE PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE. WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO STAY INVOLVED?
Once you are chapter president, the involvement afterwards does become more “personal” and programming is close to my heart, continuing to create informative events with diverse topics (such as Revenue, Sales and Marketing, Leadership, etc.).
WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE HSMAI GREATER NEW YORK CHAPTER’S GREATEST ASSET?
Hands down, our Membership. Our Membership consists of so many diverse individuals, and we can all learn from each other. We have the best hospitality professionals in our city – ranging from outstanding Revenue specialists, Sales and Marketing, Technology, OTA’s, receptive Tour Operators, etc, and HSMAI helps “escaping” each individual bubble to learn something from others. Together we will make sure that New York City stays on top of every world travelers list.
WHAT THREE TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE NEW MEMBERS OF THE ORGANIZATION?
- Be engaged
- Come out of your comfort zone and join a committee to contribute your knowledge and experience to the industry, and have a voice
- Nurture and develop your professional network