As director of sales and marketing for the Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra oversees a sales team that works with both local and national accounts to coordinate bookings and events at the local hotel.
What are your duties and responsibilities as Director of Sales and Marketing?
The sales department is the engine that keeps the hotel hopping. On any given day I could be working on anything from booking groups for the hotel and Mulligan’s, negotiating with Hilton National Accounts, taking care of select local accounts, and reviewing our revenue management strategies; to managing two busy sales managers who also work with groups and local accounts. I absolutely love what I do! The contacts and guests I encounter on a daily basis make my job that much more enjoyable.
How did you begin your career in the hospitality industry?
I started my hospitality career while in college at UGA, working nights at the front desk of a small hotel. When I had a few moments of down time at work I would squeeze in some studying. I graduated with a degree in Psychology from UGA, however I fell in love with hotels along the way and have worked in the industry for more than 25 years now. My career spans 10 different hotels and resorts, from The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island, The Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys, Sea Turtle Inn on Jacksonville Beach to several great select service Hilton brand hotels. I’ve called the Hilton Garden Inn in Ponte Vedra Beach my career home for six years and I truly couldn’t be happier being a part of this amazing team.
What types of events does the Hilton Garden Inn in Ponte Vedra host?
The Hilton Garden Inn has three function rooms of varying sizes. The hotel can host receptions up to 120 guests, catering events such as rehearsal dinners, Sunday brunc, and holiday dinners up to 72, as well as corporate meetings and conferences up to 65 depending upon set up. We have a full-service catering department equipped to handle all types of gatherings.
What sets your hotel apart from other hotels or resorts?
I’ve worked in a wide variety of hotels over the years, but I’ve never met a more warm and friendly staff than we have at the Hilton Garden Inn. We truly make our guests feel like they’ve come home. There is no guest request too big or too small that we don’t work very hard to accommodate.
Are there any charitable activities in which you (or the Hilton) are involved that you’d like to highlight?
The Hilton Garden Inn Ponte Vedra Beach is very involved in the community and charitable activities. We have participated in the annual Caring Chefs event, Brew at the Zoo, Feeding Northeast Florida, Toys for Tots and Gabriel House of Care, to mention a few. We also regularly support THE PLAYERS tournament, AJGA Golf and the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach Sunset.
What do you enjoy most about living on the First Coast?
I love being near the water, but even more I enjoy the wonderful people of Northeast Florida. They are genuinely warm and friendly. I cannot image living anywhere else.