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.
Wendy Ford was recently promoted to director of sales for Visit Rochester, NY.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?
I am most looking forward to working with the sales team to strategize the bid process for convention/sport groups. I enjoy getting creative when personalizing each bid to put Rochester on the top of the list for their meeting destination.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
I have worked in many different positions of the hospitality industry with the most recent being at Visit Rochester for the past 10 years in the sales department. The professional development that Visit Rochester has provided me has expanded my skills set to better lead/mentor the sales team. I continue to learn and grow with Visit Rochester’s support.
3. How did you get into the industry?
While in high school, I was very fortunate to know that I wanted to work in the hospitality industry. At that time, I really wanted to be a travel agent. After getting my A.A.S. in travel & tourism, I decided that I really liked the hotel part of hospitality and continued my education by getting my B.S. in hospitality management from Rochester Institute of Technology. I immediately began working in hotel sales and had the opportunity to work in different brands/locations on the East Coast. After taking some time to raise my children, I was ready to get back into the industry. My career at Visit Rochester began in 2008, where I have been working in convention sales, responsible for state, regional and national group markets.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
In an industry that is constantly changing and evolving, I look forward to the challenge of working with the sales team on pushing things to the next level. Sharing my experience, knowledge and enthusiasm with the team is what I most hope to achieve to help them each grow in their careers.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
I most enjoy meeting new people, clients/colleagues, and learning not only about them but from them. The hospitality industry has provided me an amazing career! I truly enjoy and love promoting and sharing my passion for Rochester to those who are not familiar with our city!