When Dina Fenili isn't busy being the director of sales and marketing for Kimpton Gray Hotel, she's empowering women, leading others in the industry and giving back to the community. Here's what she has to say about all of her roles:
1. What are your current duties and your favorite part of your job?
I lead a robust team at the Kimpton Gray Hotel and mentor over a dozen young female professionals. Along with an amazing, supporting team, I oversee the sales, marketing, public relations and catering efforts at the hotel. I maintain the P&L statement each month and report to the hotel GM as well as the hotel ownership. Additionally, I assist with Kimpton investor relations giving tours to potential future Kimpton owners and discussing the incredible refurbishment of a historic reuse building.
I’m a three-year official Mentor in the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants mentor program. In my latest endeavor, I was honored to be invited to join the Kimpton Hotels Field & Marketing Leadership team supporting commercial marketing efforts nationwide.
2. What are some of your proudest accomplishments in your career thus far?
Focusing on empowerment and commercial marketing planning, I started an annual high-energy training seminar called SHAZAAM. This is not only for the team at the Kimpton Gray, but also for other invited Kimponites nationwide.
Along with executives at Trunk Club, I created the popular c-suite panel series called Women Empowering Women last year. It raised awareness for the unspoken issues in the female professional world today.
On the Board of Directors for Daisie Foundation, I organized several fundraising efforts. Most recently, a $25K backpack drive benefitting students at Englewood’s Perkins Bass elementary school (ongoing through August!). Upcoming is the Leading Ladies Panel in September, a fundraising fashion show in October, a culinary event in November and a December school gift-giving drive.
I am very proud of my recent accomplishment of graduating with a masters certificate in hospitality management from Cornell University.
3. How did you get into the industry?
By circumstance, my then-roommate worked in IT at the Four Seasons. He introduced me to the team, and I began my career in hospitality as a sales coordinator, keeping my eyes open for growth opportunities so I could continue climbing the ranks.
I’m a second-generation hospitality guru. My father was an engineer for years at a prominent downtown hotel. I met every housekeeper and engineer in the building and took tours behind the scenes including boiler rooms. My father ingrained in me the importance of learning every teammate's name, treating them with respect, and being as kind as possible. As a young girl, I learned that when you break down barriers, a natural comradery forms and you can offer incredible hospitality experiences.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your current role?
I feel especially strong about giving back to the community where I spent over 14 years sculpting Chicago hospitality. I want to continue bridging the gaps and filling in where there is a lack in community, and I aspire to continue to lead young professionals in the same direction.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
There is an ongoing joke that those in the hospitality industry are not changing people’s lives. While hospitality does focus on consumer sales, I disagree with that notion. I continue to be honored to use my platform to help others whether that be emerging female leaders, the community or alongside philanthropic partners. More so, I appreciate that traveling is expensive, and I strive to create incredible experiences to ensure the consumer gets the best value for their investment.