Convention Sales Manager, Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau
JOB DESCRIPTION: My main responsibility is prospecting and researching new potential meetings and conventions for the City of Columbia. I also handle walk-in inquiries from meeting planners, respond to online request for proposals, generate sales leads for the outside sales manager and prepare sales leads for hotels. I am the bureau’s liaison to the Columbia Hotel Marketing Association and the Columbia Lodging Association. I coordinate the annual Columbia Hotel Tour for the city’s hotel employees as well as the annual holiday social for hospitality organizations. I work with the Columbia Lodging Association and the Missouri Restaurant Association to coordinate an annual hospitality employee recognition dinner, “Star Night.”
YEARS LIVED IN COLUMBIA: 18
ORIGINAL HOMETOWN: Shelbina, Mo.
EDUCATION: After graduating from South Shelby High School I attended Cottey College in Nevada, Mo. I eventually found my way to Columbia and graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: I am actively involved in the Lee School Parent Teacher Association. I also belong to a women’s Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.), and I serve on a statewide scholarship committee for Cottey College. I recently joined the First Baptist Church and hope to become more involved there.
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I started working in hotels in 1989 as a desk clerk for the Ramada Inn. I eventually moved to the Holiday Inn-East, “Holidome,” and worked in many different aspects of that hotel, including front desk, sales, catering, and food and beverage. I was promoted within the company that owned the hotel and found my apartment serving as storage while I moved around, living in different properties, troubleshooting and helping to hire assistant general managers and general managers for different hotels. I finally came full circle and was named general manager at the Holiday Inn-East. After getting married and starting a family, I took a break for a while and stayed home with my daughter. After a few years, I got my feet wet by working part-time for the Econo Lodge and then working at the Hampton Inn, adding a few more hours each year. I started full time with the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau in June.
A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE: I admire everyone who gets up in the morning, takes a deep breath and then starts juggling, trying to find the delicate balance between work and family.
WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: This is the perfect job for me! I can’t think of a better way to spend my day than talking to people about the many different options they have when coming to our beautiful city.
BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME: Getting back into the work force after staying home, getting to know the new faces in the industry, and becoming familiar with the new technology. Things move fast. When I left, the fastest form of communication was the fax machine.
A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: I’ve been working with the Tour of Missouri since starting at the CVB, and I am so impressed with the caliber of athletes participating, as well as the amount of behind-the-scenes work that needs to be done to bring an event like this to the city.
WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: The hospitality industry works differently from most other professions. The most important thing to know is the days other folks are vacationing will be the days you are at work. But you will meet the most interesting people!
WHAT I DO FOR FUN: I married a huge Mizzou fan, and therefore I have become one as well. In the fall you will find us tailgating and attending every home football game with a full house of out-of-town guests. We also enjoy just hanging with family and visiting.
FAMILY: My husband, Bill, is the branch manager at RSI Kitchen & Bath. We have a 7-year-old daughter, Danielle, who is in 2nd grade at Lee Elementary School. My mother, Janet Nugent, moved to Columbia two years ago to be closer to family, and I couldn’t be happier!
FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: I love to pick Danielle up at school and walk in The District. I think it is absolutely beautiful. We also like to walk on the Katy Trail and play in our city’s parks.
ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: My college career was not traditional, and after many years of stopping and starting, I am very proud of the fact that I finally finished.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T THAT I: Gave piano lessons during my years at home.