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Crystal Kennedy was recently hired as the associate director of sales for the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.
1. What are you most looking forward to in your new role as the associate director of sales at the Hilton Anatole?
As associate director of sales at the Hilton Anatole, I lead a team of four small meeting managers who, for the most part, are just starting their sales career in the hospitality industry. I am most looking forward to the opportunity to coach and mentor these individuals who are the future of our industry. I want to share my passion, drive and knowledge with them in an effort to help shape and advance their careers.
2. How do you think your past industry experience has prepared you for this role?
I spent eight years working in various operational departments at the Anatole and saw firsthand how our internal departments affect each other. Understanding how each department is linked and how we all work together helps me ensure our teams obtain the information they need to provide our customers with the high-quality events they expect.
3. What goals do you have in mind for the hotel for this year and farther down the line?
One goal for 2016 is to increase our summer group business with the just-announced addition of a new $15-million resort-style pool complex set to open in May 2016. This project was initially designed with leisure guests in mind, but the feedback from group customers has been amazing thus far, so we're pushing expectations even further.
4. How did you get into the industry?
I started working as a bartender at the Anatole 13 years ago to pay the bills while I put myself through college. After a couple of promotions, I became a banquet captain and realized I was in love with the hotel industry and wasn’t leaving it. I transferred to the sales office as an assistant, and then became a sales manager, then a senior sales manager and now associate director of sales.
5. What do you enjoy most about the organization?
I most enjoy the support from the leadership team here at the Hilton Anatole. They are always supplying the tools and mentorship needed to continue developing and growing your career. Each time I wanted to take the next step in my career, the Anatole team was right there helping me make it happen.