• Hotel EMC2 Announces its Executive Team Ahead of May Opening

     
    POSTED May 10, 2017
     

Just before its opening, Hotel EMC2, part of Autograph Collection Hotels, has announced its brand-new executive team. The first of its kind, the hotel celebrates the melding of art and science through its design, cuisine and guest experience. The team includes: Christine Wechter, general manager; Brandon Brumback, executive chef; Rebecca Royster, director of food and beverage; Stefanie Rowe, director of sales and marketing; Alexander Foster, director of rooms; and Yesenia Salas, human resources manager.

“I wanted to take the guest experience to the next level by engaging a talented team that shares my vision of building a high-end, non-traditional travel destination that feeds the creative spirit and empowers the mind,” says Scott Greenberg, president and CEO, SMASHotels and founder, Hotel EMC2. “Together with Autograph Collection Hotels, we will bring the distinct elements of this one-of-a-kind hotel to life while fostering a stimulating environment for both guests and team members.”

Christine Wechter will serve as the general manager. She will direct and oversee the day-to-day operations of the hotel. This includes accommodations and amenities, meetings and events, and culinary offerings. In her most recent role with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Wechter and her team were awarded “2015 Hotel of the Year” by the brand in the North American East region.

Brandon Brumback will head the development and creation of all culinary programs of the Hotel EMC2 and the Albert, the hotel's 12-set restaurant, as the executive chef. Brumback has been an influential player at various Chicago dining institutions, including the two Michelin-starred restaurants Acadia and Danny Meyer’s GreenRiver (under the prestigious Union Square Hospitality Group).

Rebecca Royster will serve as the director of food and beverage of Hotel EMC2 and the Albert. Royster was most recently at Maude's Liquor Bar, where she was general manager and beverage director.

As the director of sales and marketing, Stefanie Rowe will be responsible for establishing partnerships, working with the management team to achieve revenue goals, and building awareness to the property. Rowe comes from the Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile, where she was director of sales and marketing.

Alexander Foster, director of rooms, will manage all room operations, while working to maximize room revenue and productivity. Foster bring 10 years of previous experience in hospitality, including key management positions.

Human resources manager will be Yesenia Salas. Salas will oversee the hotel's human resources operation which includes building and acquiring and attaining top talent across all divisions and levels. Salas previously worked at theWit Chicage.

“We’ve taken an unconventional approach to hiring by curating a team of energetic individuals who are not only professionally qualified, but encapsulate the whimsical and creative spirit of the hotel,” says Wechter. “Everyone brings a unique aspect of art and science to the hotel. Our team members have studied a range of subject matters, including: neuroscience; architecture and design; engineering; dance and music; and everything in between. I am ecstatic to work alongside these talented individuals as we move toward the opening of Hotel EMC2 later this spring.”

Remote working has become mainstream with the continued presence of COVID-19. While many people have welcomed the new normal of working from home, others miss the separation of spaces, as many corporate offices have remained closed since March. Without the daily obligation to go into the office, professionals have the ability to travel more freely. Hotels across the country are creating “work from hotel” deals–a play on “work from home”–so people can explore new places while still fitting in their 9 to 5.  

 

Choosing a career in the event industry is not for the faint of heart. Let’s face it: Event planning is stressful. The last-minute changes, demands from clients and surmounting urgency of a quickly approaching event can make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

As a new mother, I’m right there with you and need just as much help developing a healthy work-life balance. In my experiences working in events, I’ve found the following to be helpful ways to care for my mental health, despite being in a stressful profession:

 

In light of COVID-19, a survey commissioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) discovered that 44 percent of Americans are planning leisure trips or overnight travel before the end of 2020.