Aracely Frias, The Keating Hotel
Name: Aracely Frias
Title: Housekeeping Supervisor
Company: The Keating Hotel (San Diego)
Guiding philosophy: “I am an umbrella from all that could distract or discomfort guests during a meeting.”
Testimonial: “Aracely has built a team of driven room attendants and housepersons who strive for excellence daily. Her management is a blend of sincerity and resolve. Sincerity in the authentic, empathetic relationships she fosters with her team members. Resolve, in the face of what can at times seem a daunting workload, to steer her team to daily success. She accomplishes all of this, while still allowing the time for warm and hospitable interactions with hotel guests, acting as a proud ambassador of the Keating Hotel.” –Adam Della Rocca, general manager of The Keating Hotel
“We are honored to be able to serve guests from around the world who come to our beautiful city of San Diego to do business, meet colleagues and learn more about their industry,” says Aracely Frias, housekeeping supervisor for meetings and small banquets at Keating Hotel, in her native Spanish. “I know how incredibly important it is to be able to focus during meetings and my role is to ensure that their needs are met prior to and during the meeting.”
She is committed to ensuring that what was communicated to the sales department is executed during the preparation of the spaces. During the meeting, she sees it as her job to be sure event professionals are aware of her presence, but not distracted by it, so she can be of quick service should the need arise.
She says she has learned a lot from her teammates, but her family is her inspiration. “My children all work in the banquet and events divisions in luxury hotels, and my husband is a fine-dining waiter. I am fortunate to be able to call upon their shared experience and bring those unique ideas, habits and practices.”
Michelle Klein, Marriott IndyPlace
Name: Michelle Klein
Title: Senior Marketing Manager
Company: Marriott IndyPlace
Affiliations: Education board member of HSMAI and PRSA; marketing board member of Indianapolis Downtown Marketing
Background: She began as banquet server before tending bar at a Hilton Garden Inn. From there, she went on to work at independent resorts and a boutique hotel, and now promotes five convention hotels in downtown Indianapolis.
Guiding philosophy: Find what makes us unique, and push those facts to the forefront.
Testimonial: “Michelle was a pleasure to work with and made sure that everything was organized and taken care of for our event. Not only was she reliable and attentive, but also very friendly and approachable in person.” –Lisa Lubin, founder and editor-in-chief, LL World Tour
Meeting planners are looking for more than just hotel rooms/meeting space. They want venues with a story and I help tell our story.” This is how Michelle Klein, senior marketing manager for Marriott IndyPlace defines her role.
She credits more than 10 years of on-the-job training and aligning herself with mentors to getting her to where she is today in the hospitality industry. She is the voice of her city, informing meeting professionals of the personality of Indianapolis and what sets it apart from other destinations. Beyond marketing, she has also had a hand in busing tables, working in kitchens, serving beverages and flipping meeting rooms.
Klein wants meeting professionals to know that Marriott IndyPlace hotels offer more than expansive square footage—they are also philanthropically minded. They’ve donated over 15,000 pounds of food from meetings to Second Helpings and, in partnership with other area hotels, lowered emissions by 20 million pounds of carbon dioxide and now rely on wind as a resource for 20 percent of their energy.
“As a marketing and public relations professional, every day I get the opportunity to help connect the dots between planners and hotels. I get to be on the forefront of letting the meeting world know what is so special about Indianapolis,” she says.
Alex Redlin, Fort Worth CVB
Name: Alex Redlin
Title: National Sales Manager
Company: Fort Worth CVB
Affiliations: Member, MPI DFW Chapter and Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
Background: Degree in hospitality and restaurant management at University of Arkansas.
Guiding philosophy: “Honesty is huge. The sooner you come clean, the better it makes everything and the easier it is in the end.
Testimonial: “Alex Redlin personifies determination. She has a tireless drive to work with our planners. In her short time here, she has built strong bonds. Alex is always full of fresh and innovative ideas, and is not afraid to share with the team and clients. Her zest for our industry and energy are like a B-12 shot for colleagues and clients alike.” –Paola Bowman, convention services manager, Fort Worth CVB
Spreading the message about “the Texas people want,” is what energizes Fort Worth CVB National Sales Manager Alex Redlin—and, in turn, everyone around her. She sees her job as educating people about how a big city can have a small-town feel. Her chosen home is the intersection of twice-daily cattle drives and cops on horses with world-class museums, music and theater venues.
“I love working in a city where I can make a difference,” she says. Her goal is to serve on a board where she can have even more of an impact about a place she feels passionate to work in and promote.
She has already worked in many capacities in the hospitality industry. Before returning to Fort Worth CVB almost two years ago, Redlin served as group sales manager at Billy Bob’s Texas. She also interned at Bikes, Blues and BBQ and was a sales representative at The Mustache.
Melissa Schreiner, The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel
Name: Melissa Schreiner
Title: Convention Services Manager
Company: The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel (Colorado Springs)
Affiliations: HSMAI, IMEX, Cvent
Background: Schreiner worked as retirement plan specialist for T. Rowe Price before becoming a reservation agent at The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel. She was promoted to group rooms coordinator and then convention services manager.
Guiding philosophy: “My philosophy is to make the process of planning an event—something that can be grueling and time-consuming—simple and enjoyable.”
Testimonial: “Melissa’s positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond her job description help to make lifelong memories for our guests.” –Josh Hady, catering sales manager, The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel
Melissa Schreiner has successfully worked in customer-service-based industries for 15 years, and attributes much of her success to her associates.
“My growth within hospitality is due in large part to the people that surround me,” she says. “The support system that has developed around me has pushed me to strive for the best, and I know that the best in the industry also surround me. Through my beginnings at the hotel and the management given to me from Revenue Manager Samantha Forsythe, I was able to familiarize myself with the hotel, and the people who continue to shape me.”
Schreiner has refined her ability to zero in on clients’ needs.
“I approach each meeting with a pair of fresh eyes in order to get an idea of what each planner envisions,” she says. “My philosophy is to make the process of planning an event—something that can be grueling and time-consuming—simple and enjoyable.”
She regards inclusion and connection as the foundation of customer service, and bases success on the value and execution of the customer’s happiness.