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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yelithza Gonzales and Chris Rynkar were recently hired as the director of sales and marketing and general manager of Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?
Yelithza Gonzales: I'm really excited about building a dynamic and determined sales team. Our main objective will be to work together in order to impact top line revenue by strategizing and hitting our targeted goals.
Chris Rynkar: I am looking forward to building a great team that will work well together in opening the hotel and making it into one of New York City's most sought-after hotel destinations. With such a diverse brand like Renaissance, I am excited to see how our team can deliver on the brand’s pillars and provide our guests with a unique Chelsea experience.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
YG: My previous role as opening Director of Sales and Marketing at a Hyatt in Chelsea, provided me an excellent opportunity to gain experience with top producing accounts in the market. Having also worked in downtown Brooklyn prepared me to handle a fast-paced working environment.
CR: I have worked and opened hotels in several markets across the United States including New York City. This experience has provided me with a unique perspective on how to approach operational, sales and marketing items that are key to a successful opening.
3. How did you get into the industry?
YG: I always knew I wanted to be in the service industry. Prior to my first hotel job, I worked 10 years in restaurants. I started to manage a restaurant at the age of 19 and one of my best clients told me I should consider getting into the hotel industry. He was opening the Hotel Indigo in Brooklyn as a general manager where I started my first hospitality position as a front desk agent.
CR: My grandmother worked at the Waldorf Astoria and I was always intrigued by her stories about working there during the Great Depression and World War II eras. During high school and college, I worked at a small resort in the Adirondacks doing everything from parking boats to cleaning cabins and I just grew to love the business.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
YG: I want our property to be top of mind for guests and for our team to work hand in hand on delivering brand standards and exceeding guest satisfaction.
CR: I am hoping to create an environment within the hotel that will provide our customers with unique experiences and discoveries that they will carry home and tell their friends and family about. This goal will only be achievable with the right team in place and ensuring that we are not only taking great care of our customers but we also caring for our fellow associates.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
YG: The people. I enjoy working with individuals that share the same passion as me.
CR: Every day is a different day and facing each day together as a team has always been important to me. Seeing the successes of my fellow team members has truly been one of the most enjoyable parts of this business.