These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to email@example.com.
Audrey Hardy-Lenhart was recently named director of sales and marketing for The Elizabeth Hotel.
1. What are you looking forward to in your new role?
I’m delighted at the prospect of managing this team without a selling goal for myself and to be able to be fully focused on the team success factors. I’m also excited to assist them in streamlining their processes, procedures, and prospecting efforts to maximize their potential and accomplishments within their sales segments and develop in their career aspirations.
I’m also very excited to get back to my luxury hotel roots as I gain Marriott experience in a very unique Autograph Collection property environment. The Elizabeth Hotel is a special property with so many nuances and textures and fantastic service to match the beautiful asset.
And like anytime you move to a new market, I’m very enthusiastic to be able to embrace a new town, culture and community to learn the ins and outs of the hospitality and events industry in this special microcosm of Fort Collins, Colorado.
2. What attracted you to the industry?
I love the fast paced and customer-facing elements of this industry and that is what initially drew me to make it a career. I like that you have to be very detail-oriented and methodical, nearly scientific in your planning and processes to be successful in meetings and events and yet you get a great balance of social interaction by being immersed in the customer service- oriented field of hospitality.
3. How did you get started in the industry?
I began working in hotels as a restaurant coordinator (glorified hostess) at a fine dining restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel, Austin; it began as a college job and after graduation I was excited to begin cross-training in various departments and moving towards a management track with that company.
4. What has been your greatest success in your career?
My greatest overall success has been building successful teams at each property I’ve been a part of and remaining in contact with those teams as we all move forward in our careers and aspirations.
My greatest specific event has been the Disney/Pixar ‘Brave’ cast party and film premiere at Castello di Amorosa. 2,500 guests attended the costumed event, movie screening, and celebratory after party event that required logistical management of thousands of vendors/staff, millions of dollars in event services, and petitioning several law changes to the county event laws and guidelines to help it all come to fruition.
5.What's your favorite part about meetings and events?
I really enjoy watching new talents emerge and watching the development of our young hospitality professionals as they build their reputations and footprints in the industry; it’s fascinating and exciting to observe our industry professionals come up with new design scopes and ideas to embolden the events genre via unique expertise or emerging technology and also seeing our industry continue to out-do itself to help better customer experience on all platforms. We just always keep pushing the envelope for new guest experiences and growing as an industry and it’s inspiring to me.