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.
Randi Talmage was recently hired as sales manager at JW Marriott Grand Rapids.
1. How did you get into the industry?
More than 11 years ago, I was bright eyed, fresh out of college and like most … needed a job. I opened a phone book and starting calling, I thought 'Sure let’s give hotels a shot, it’s only temporary.' Little did I know the job I thought would be temporary would ignite a love for the hospitality industry that I never knew existed. I felt at home and knew this was where I was meant to be. I became determined to extract every drop of knowledge from the hospitality professionals surrounding me. Every decision I made, every position I held, every task I took on I used as an opportunity to grow. While my career journey did not begin on path of hospitality, I like to say the hospitality industry found me.
2. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
Every day we welcome guests into their home away from home and it is up to us, as hospitality professionals, to make that experience something extraordinary. We learn about their job, their life, their hobbies and find ways to provide a superior level of excellence that ensures they walk out of our doors feeling special. The power of crafting these powerful experiences and long-lasting memories is in our hands and it is nothing short of incredible.
3. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
The last nine years of my hospitality career have been in the convention services field, most recently as assistant director of conventions services. There is a level of creativity, expertise and insight that comes from several years of hands-on meeting planning. These skills have equipped me to sell the dream because I know we can deliver the dream.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
I have the pleasure of serving my local and state market. I desire to cultivate relationships throughout my community, allowing others fall in to love with the brand of hospitality I fell in love with.
5. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as sales manager?
The privilege of spending my days talking about two of the things I love most: my fabulous city and our campus of luxury.