National Convention Sales Manager
St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission
How did you get started in the hospitality industry?
I grew up in this business. My Dad worked in hotels, and my Mom retired from the St. Louis CVC as Director of Convention Services, back in the late 1990’s. I was awarded my Bachelor’s degree from the school of Hotel & Restaurant Management at MIZZOU. Right after graduation I moved to Waikiki because my husband was in the Navy, stationed at Pearl Harbor. I worked at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki for a few years before we returned to the Midwest. The rest, as they say, is history!
Describe your most unique work experience:
One of my most unique experiences would have to have been back in Waikiki when the World Sumo Wrestling Champions were booked at our property. We had to coordinate the arrival and use of special furniture to accommodate them. Chef had to prepare special menus. We also had to work with throngs of fans who were ever present waiting to see their favorite athlete. It was an interesting, and fun, challenge to say the least!
I love reading. I can have more than one book going at any particular time. I don’t know that I have a particular favorite book – but I do have a favorite genre. I love Historical Fiction. I can so easily get wrapped up in a story that “almost” true, and teaches me lots of historical information. It’s my favorite way to while away hours – when I have hours to actually while away.
You know, being from St. Louis, I am no stranger to awesome, authentic Italian cuisine. We have some of the best restaurants in the world all over St. Louis. But, my go-to favorite is always anything Mexican (luckily we have authentic Mexican on Cherokee Street too!). Although I can be a food snob when I want to be, if I were stranded on a desert island, I could get by for a real long time with just Chips, Salsa & Margueritas!
What would surprise us about you?
I don’t know if this is surprising – but maybe a little interesting. My heritage is 50% Lebanese. My paternal grandparents came over from Lebanon when they were very little. I grew up in the middle of a huge Lebanese family, with tons of aunts, uncles, and cousins all speaking Arabic, eating great middle-Eastern food, and dancing the traditional line dances. This culture is rich with a sense of hospitality, and maybe that influenced my career choices, too.
What would we find on your DVR?
I just started recording the HGTV series “Fixer Upper.” They design these houses that are so beautiful and yet so homey. I love the style and try to emulate it at my house (or, rather, dream of emulating it at my house!).
What’s on your iPad?
My Pinterest App gets a lot of use.
Regular weekend agenda?
I have 3 teenagers – so our calendar is pretty busy with sports, and scouts, and spending time with grandparents who are always looking forward to a visit.
Television show that you never miss:
I can’t believe I am admitting this publicly – but I never miss the Real Housewives from any city. I’m not proud of it – but I just can’t stop watching!
Idea of your perfect day off:
Have you ever experienced one of those days where time seems to stand still? Where you feel like you’ve gotten so much accomplished and its only lunch time? I long for a day like that. Where you don’t feel guilty taking a nap in the middle of the day because the day is so long. The perfect day would feel long, and would always include time in the sun and on the water! Pool, Lake or Ocean – doesn’t matter to me. I love it all!