Welcoming our newest member of the Sourcing Operations team, Payton Bolek!
Welcoming our newest member of the Sourcing Operations team, Payton Bolek!
So Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City
Upon arrival last weekend, I was very impressed with the transformation that has taken place there. No longer is it just pretending to be a rich man in a poor man’s shirt.
The aurora is truly rising behind this solid meetings destination. With the recent opening of the Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center in the marina district, this is now one of the largest and nicest meetings spaces on the Atlantic seaboard, just over the Jersey state line. Harrah’s offers over 2500 newly renovated sleeping rooms and two stacked 50,000 square foot ballrooms, each breaking into 30 sections. The pre-function space in the conference center was huge, each level had over 25,000 square feet outside the ballroom. They also had outdoor terraces with amazing bay and ocean views. The flexibility of their meeting space was unsurpassed and impressive.
…Sleeping at the beach all night.
The sleeping rooms were divided up into several towers, all have recently been remodeled or are brand new. The vast majority of the rooms have great water views. The elevators were very fast and efficient, something that is often forgotten at a hotel of this size. All the rooms I saw were incredibly nice, with spacious separate tub and shower, with exceptional lighting and counter space. Everything you need to put your makeup on and fix your hair up pretty. The beds were plush and the internet was fast, not much else you need to have an enjoyable stay.
Sleeping room at Harrah’s
…I ain’t here on business, I’m only here for fun.
One of my favorite features at Harrah’s was the massive indoor pool that they turn into a concert venue at night. This is a perfect reception space for up to 400 people. The complex has dozens of restaurants at all price points, ranging from high end steak houses to grab a slice pizza joints. Overall, I found the food to be really good, high quality, and it was not overpriced. Several venues did live music at night, adding to the energy of the hotel. The casino was huge, but not all that noisy. They also have a large performance theater that seats 1200, this can also be used for private events or general sessions should the need arise. Harrah’s offers a very unique offering, a large Viking cooking school. This gives people the opportunity to cook their own meal and learn from professional chefs, then eat what they made in a back room with wine parings. It looked like a lot of fun, this type of experiential activity is really popular right now.
…Rich man wanna be king
Over in the center of the boardwalk is Caesars Palace, an 1100 room hotel. This hotel is smack in the center of the action. This is a miniature version of the iconic hotel in Las Vegas. They have 28,000 square feet of meeting space, highlighted by a 17,000 square foot ballroom. The hotel has some of the best restaurants on the boardwalk, Morton’s, Nero’s Italian, Phillips Seafood, and Gordon Ramsey’s Pub and Grill. This is a truly great hotel for groups of 250-300. The rooms were very upscale and large, all with nice water views.
…Running off down the boardwalk
Next to Caesars, is Ballys, a 1200 room hotel. Ballys is a really nice option for groups more on a budget than Caesars or Harrah’s, but still a nice product. The 80,000 square foot meeting space is all on one level, making it very convenient. They also offer the largest casino floor in Atlantic City, and also have a number of restaurants at all price points. Both Bally’s and Caesars are right across from a massive outlet mall. The prices and selection were outstanding here, I am not a shopping fan, but this was one of the best outlet malls I have ever been to.
…Never gave no thought to landing.
The Atlantic City airport has very limited service, right now only Spirit flies in there. The Philadelphia airport is about an hour away, giving you a ton of flight options. This time from the airport should not be a huge impairment to booking there, as it is often an hour or more to get to the main downtown hotels in cities like Chicago, LA, New York, Houston, and plenty of other cities. As an added convenience, one-third of the US population is within one tank of gas to get to Atlantic City, tearing down the highway like a big old dinosaur. So Mary, climb in…We’re pulling out of here to win.
…Cant start a fire without a spark.
For many people, the first thing that they think of when entering a casino is the amount of smoke that is used to be omnipresent. The filtration systems that casinos have installed recently has changed this reality. I spent extensive time at three large casinos and never once smelled smoke in any public area. The meetings spaces are all non- smoking, as are the restaurants. In years past, it was impossible to enter a casino without smelling like an ashtray, but these are better days shining through now, making this a non-issue in most casinos.
I was impressed by the transformation that the city and the hotels that I visited has undergone. It is a city I would enjoy going back to, and one I can see bringing groups of all sizes to in the future. There is still a lot of value to be found here, especially for groups booking during the week. It has all of the amenities that my groups are looking for, and is perfect for those groups that has a big driving contingent and those looking at the Northeast.
I will say it again, Meet me tonight in Atlantic City.
All photos were taken by Timothy Arnold, May 2018. Most quotes shamelessly stolen from the immortal Bruce Springsteen.
**Guest Written by Timothy Arnold, CMP, CMM – Regional Vice President of HPN Global
Timothy Arnold, CMP, CMM
Regional Vice President
Hospitality Performance Network – HPN Global
Born in White Plains, New York to a German culinary family, Michael moved to Germany when he was 6 years old. His education, as well as military service, took place in Hamburg, Germany.
Michael began working in his parent’s restaurants at a young age and after high school graduation, he served a 2.5-year apprenticeship with Canadian Pacific Hotels in Hamburg, followed by an 18-month military service in the German Army. After this he started his hospitality career at the Four Season’s Hotel in Hamburg in food and beverage, soon realizing that his passion was in the rooms division. This is when a 29-year run with Marriott International started.
Michael joined the Hamburg Marriott hotel front office team and then transferred to the Marriott Orlando World Center where he started in night audit and then moved back to the front desk. His next step was manager on duty for Marriott’s International Drive property in Orlando. His next transfer took him to the Munich Marriott where he oversaw the front office, reservations and then was promoted to the sales department as Director of Group Sales.
Michael also assisted with the opening of the Bremen Marriott Hotel and the Ramada Munich Airport.
During his time in Munich, Michael graduated from the American Hotel and Motel Association with a diploma in Hotel Management. From there he moved to the west coast of the US where he worked at the Monterey Marriott in Group Sales. Michael’s next promotion took him to the pre-opening sales office for Grande Lakes Orlando, where he was a Senior Account Executive handling both the 1000 room JW Marriott and 582 room Ritz-Carlton hotels. His broad market experience included Florida’s State Association as well as West Coast Corporate and Association accounts. It was at Grande Lakes when Michael began handling the HPN Account as the single point of contact.
After a decade at Grande Lakes, he joined Starwood and the sales team of the 1500 room Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort where he also worked West Coast Corporate and Association accounts as well as the Midwest market. In April 2018 Michael retired from Marriott and joined the HPN Global team.
Michael has been married to his wife Sharon since 1994. Michael and Sharon reside in Orlando, FL where they raised their two daughters, Ashley, 22 and Evelyn, 20.
Sarah Durai comes to us from JRK Hotel Group where she held the title of Director of Sports and Entertainment Sales. She primarily sold for the Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown, but also booked for the Oceana in Santa Monica, The Roger in New York, and the Holiday Inn Express in Downtown Nashville.
Sarah is a Nashville native and has been in the hospitality industry for the last 10 years. She started her career at Tennessee’s only 5-Star, 5-Diamond property, The Hermitage Hotel where she was able to strengthen her art of true southern hospitality. Sarah loves the industry that she is in and states that her favorite part about her career is the relationships that she gets to make with people from all over the world and being able to leave them with a positive, lasting impression.
Sarah studied Hospitality and Resort Management at the University of Memphis, and is currently a member of Meeting Professionals International. Sarah’s passions outside of work include traveling, cheering on the Predators with the rest of Smashville, Fantasy Football and Hockey, Sunday football (especially when her Chargers are playing), dancing, poker nights, attending concerts and listening to live music, and spending time in her wonderful city with family and friends.
Sarah was recently named Top 100 Leading Persons in Hospitality for the city of Nashville, and is so excited to start her new adventure with HPN Global. Sarah was our SPC for almost 5 years, so feels that HPN is already family to her. She states Relationships Matter, and there is no other company she would rather be with!
Patty Gannon has over 30 years of experience in the travel industry. She studied at Grand Valley State University and earned a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
In 1988 Patty joined Norwegian Cruise Line as a member of their Cruise Staff and travelled the world entertaining thousands of passengers weekly. When she finally jumped ship., she furthered her career at the Walt Disney World Resorts where she successfully completed Disney’s highly acclaimed management program and worked the front of the house, back of the house and ultimately made her way into sales.
In 1998, Patty started work in the Destination Management world, where she successfully sold and managed hundreds of programs in Florida and most recently Las Vegas. As a longtime partner to HPN the only natural progression in her career would be to take the plunge and join the team which happened on March 1st.
Outside of work you can find Patty in dance class, hanging with her dog Cappy or sipping cocktails poolside with friends! Once she makes her millions her plan is to buy a small island, make a home for her family and a sanctuary for stray animals where they will all live happily ever after.
In celebration of HPN Global’s 16th year in business, and my 16th anniversary with the company, I’m sharing 16 thoughts of gratitude and my experience from watching the development and growth of this awesome company.
1. I’m not here by accident. I truly believe the universe lined up perfectly 16 years ago, and connected me with Bill Kilburg, which turned into my role & involvement with HPN. I was and continue to be right where I am supposed to be.
2. I’ve seen how the HPN Global opportunity can change lives. In the past 16 years, I’ve seen people take a leap of faith with their fingers crossed, a dedicated work ethic, and dive head first into entrepreneurialism. They have forever changed their lives and that of their families by way of prosperous incomes, quality time with the people that matter most, and control over their own schedules.
3. While at HPN, I turned 21 (which I’m sure you can imagine is quite the experience!), got married, and started the incredible journey of motherhood. I can’t imagine raising my son under other circumstances where family truly comes first. Also, by my definition, I have been able to successfully tackle being a dedicated mom who is there for her son, and a passionate professional. John (my son) has always been welcome in the office and a fun distraction for many, especially during the early years. We love HPN babies and kids ☺ This is a huge example of the kind of company culture Bill & Joe set out for 16 years ago.
4. When you love what you do, it rapidly ceases to be work. So many people spend their entire life lacking motivation or passion for what they do. Enjoying what I do is extremely important for me, and it also sets the example I want for my son. Work / Life Balance does exist. If you’re not experiencing this, I challenge you to find it.
5. I have witnessed incredible examples and influence of some of the top industry professionals, specifically within our leadership team at HPN Global. This group of people has influenced the person and professional I am today. I will forever be grateful. These are brilliant, compassionate, innovative people who don’t settle for status quo. I am beyond proud to be a part of this team.
6. Change. Innovation. Open mindedness. These are some of the characteristics that have made HPN Global so successful. We seek to find different ways to approach our business.
7. Leadership. What does it mean to be a leader? It’s not a title. Plenty of people have important titles that aren’t leaders. For me, it has meant taking an opportunity and making it my own. Before I knew it, I was providing counsel, guidance, direction, or just a listening ear to our team members. Mentoring others is an important piece of what I’ve experienced. The world I envision is a world where people help each other to advance, grow, and then turn around and help the next person.
8. I am delightfully included in this year’s 100 Women Who Inspire Us, by Smart Meetings. These are 100 truly amazing women, and I’m proud to be in their company.
9. Networking & Connections! Two extremely powerful words. Working for HPN Global has allowed me to develop and refine my own personal networking style, and understand just how important this skill is. Connections can open doors you didn’t know existed.
When you have an opportunity to take a relationship to the next level, and really connect with someone, that’s my favorite part. I love the impact we can have on people (and vise versa). People often forget that every time they interact with someone, they’re making an impact on that person. My goal is to have a positive impact with everyone I interact with.
10. HPN has taken me to some of the most amazing destinations. I’m literally traveling the world, and staying in some of the top hotels & resorts along the way. One of my favorite trips each year is our President’s Club Incentive. We award out top producers with an amazing trip. The destination changes annually, and it’s guaranteed to delight. I spend almost a week connecting with the top producers for HPN Global. Every year, the winners are different, and it’s extremely competitive. It’s a ton of fun getting to know them & their spouses better on more personal level. On that note, my husband has been able to join me on these awesome adventures. Sometimes, I think my HPN peeps enjoy his company more than mine (I’m talking to you, Linscott!).
11. It takes a village – for everything!
I / we couldn’t be where we are today without the amazing individuals that support us. We’re talking everything from talented people who support the HPN Global operation, my family who helps take care of my son when I travel, and my inner circle who provides amazing feedback and counsel for me personally and professionally.
12. Through our travels, I have been exposed to some of the most amazing food & wine. I’ve really come to enjoy this aspect of the hospitality industry. I have truly been spoiled and have loved every minute of it. Enjoying great food & wine is a big part of who I am.
13. What incredible experiences I’ve had in the past 16 years. I’ve done some amazing things that I may not have done on my own: watching an insane lightning storm in the Bahamas, ziplining in Costa Rica, relaxing in the turquois water in the Dominican Republic, a gorgeous waterfall hike in Maui, hanging on a private island in Puerto Rico, to name a few. Wow!!
14. I would be remiss not to mention the quality of education and motivational content we’re exposed to constantly – we’re talking the most incredible speaker experiences available in the market. Really impactful, change your life – if you allow it – content.
15. The opportunities available in this industry are endless. It only takes the right people paying attention at the right time to our ever-evolving world. Through this lens, HPN Global is leading the path for enhanced client safety through Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Crisis Management. This partnership is made possible by HPN teaming up with my very own John Whitney via Emergency Concierge International to provide our clients the highest level of evolutionary service.
16. Finally, Relationships Matter! It’s the foundation on which on our company was built, and I whole heartedly drink this Kool Aid daily. I see this not only in my professional world, but personal world as well. People need people, we are tribal by nature.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Senior VP, Sourcing & Industry Relations
13825 N Northsight Blvd., Suite 201
Scottsdale AZ, 85260
Phone: 480.998.9770 Ext 236
Website | LinkedIn | Blog
Performance Powered by Passion
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Ken attended Michigan State University and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management. During his tenure at MSU, he conducted two hotel internships…one at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City Michigan and the other at the Sands Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Immediately after graduation, Hilton Hotels Corporation hired him to be one of only two Management Trainee Professionals at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. After 8 months, Ken was promoted to Convention Sales Manager handling the Midwest Market. After 4 years he decided to take a similar position at the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau also handling the Midwest Market. In 1999, after 2 years with the New Orleans CVB, he decided to accept a position of Senior Account Executive at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, handling the West Coast Market and several 3rd party companies, including HPN Global. Ken and Heather Newman have been married since 1999 and have two sons (Kaine, 19 and Kameron, 17), and they currently reside in Covington, LA.
Inspiration: I am inspired daily by family, love, creativity, self-improvement, learning, gratitude and my accomplishments. More importantly, I draw inspiration from the appreciation I have learned to garner for all the incredible opportunities in life. From true appreciation comes heart-felt inspiration.
Superpower: Caring. Plain and simple, I care. I care about others more than myself. I care about the success of our industry and the success of the relationships we build. I care about others as human beings and friends. By caring for others, we foster a depth of health that paves the path for a brighter future.
Action Item: This truly is a pivotal time in the world. Many changes and divisions exist that are beyond our control. Threats, generational differences and technology are just a few examples of the ever-evolving environment we’re faced with. What will change the world for tomorrow are the relationships we build today. There is no way to forecast the future and what it may bring, but by building strong foundational relationships, we build a network of strength that is efficient and adaptable to handle any challenge that heads our way.
Senior VP, Sourcing & Industry Relations HPN Global
SAUSALITO, California — Smart Meetings, the most trusted resource for meeting professionals, is proud to announce its third annual conference for women in meetings. Smart Meetings Presents the Smart Woman Summit will take place on April 19, 2018 at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront.
The Smart Woman Summit has come to serve as a celebrated conference for its introduction of critical tools and resources. Attendees will discover effective business strategies, tools and techniques to advance their professional growth, share poignant stories of personal success and explore how women can overcome their own set of unique challenges in the workplace.
With education, leadership and camaraderie at the forefront of its agenda, the Smart Woman Summit is designed to advance the careers of women in meetings, cultivate an empowered community of female meeting ambassadors and foster growth. Now in its 3rd year, the signature conference will feature opportunities for professional development, dynamic speaking presentations and multiple networking sessions.
The meetings and events industry is a staggering 77.4% female, and yet, many critical leadership roles are filled by men. Led by a passionate, self-made female CEO, Smart Meetings is proud to be a women’s champion and support such a vital industry group.
“I am delighted to host this event for our incredible community of women in meetings.” said Smart Meetings founder and CEO, Marin Bright. “As a woman who has faced many challenges on my own entrepreneurial path, I’m heartened and humbled to share this opportunity with my fellow meetings peers. The Summit promises to educate, empower and inspire, and reaffirm our place in the meetings industry as an informed, passionate, united community.”
Smart Meetings is honored to partner with Fort Worth Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, a premier travel destination that shares in the spirit of this influential and timely initiative.
“We are proud to sponsor the third annual Smart Woman Summit,” said John Cychol, vice president of meeting sales for the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Fort Worth is home to many strong women leaders including our mayor, Betsy Price, the trail boss for the Fort Worth Herd, Kristin Jaworksi and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson. We are excited to showcase some of the women who lead in creativity and entrepreneurship at the Smart Woman Summit.”
The Smart Woman Summit will also feature an awards ceremony and dinner to honor winners of the 2018 Smart Women in Meetings Awards, an awards platform that recognizes top-performing women in the meetings industry. The 2018 categories include Visionaries, Innovators, Industry Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Trail Blazers and Rising Stars.
The conference will immediately follow Smart Meeting Midwest, a hosted-buyer event that connects high-quality meeting planners with premier hotels and destinations on April 18, also hosted at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront.
About Smart Meetings:
Smart Meetings is the premier partner for connecting quality meeting professionals with hotels and destinations. We cultivate powerful business relationships through robust, business-driven programs and services to ensure that planners and suppliers, alike, reach their goals. Providing best-in-class service, Smart Meetings publishes cutting-edge meetings content in print and digital magazines, offers world-class hosted-buyer networking events, CEU-accredited webinars, as well as myriad digital solutions.
Smart Meetings Media Contact:
Director of Marketing
Fort Worth Media Contact:
Director of Marketing & Film Commissioner
Fort Worth CVB/Fort Worth Film Commission
817-698-7842 cell: 817-709-7601
Greetings! An official ‘Happy New Year’ to those I haven’t connected with yet.
I’m personally very excited about 2018 and all the opportunity it represents. Coming up off an absolutely incredible 2017, it seems 2018 has some big shoes to fill – and I have no doubt we are up to the challenge!
Here’s a recap of 2017:
Sourcing Lead Volume increased by almost 20%. Great appreciation and gratitude go to our dedicated Sourcing Team, who rocked the increase in volume – with smiles on their faces, and smoke coming off their keyboards.
Top Sourced Destinations for the year:
4. San Diego
40% of our volume was sourced in the year, for the year – a similar trend from 2017, so hotels with short-term availability (and great deals!) should connect with us. email@example.com
30% of all RFPs sourced were considered short-term (within 90 days of arrival).
HPN Global Partner Conference News:
Our 2017 hosts, The San Francisco Marriott Marquis and San Francisco Travel, knocked our socks off. We had overwhelming feedback on the success of the conference, and greatly appreciate San Francisco Travel for ordering up the right temperatures.
New for 2017, based on the changing dynamics of the world, HPN Global showed our commitment to attendee safety, by adding Conference Emergency Preparedness in partnership with ECI: Emergency Concierge International https://emergencyconcierge.net/.
Moving on to 2018, we are so excited we can’t see straight!! Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort will welcome us for #HPN18. Who’s ready to have some fun in Miami? I am!! Save the Date for November 6 – 9, 2018. Our event is invitation only, so please submit your interest thru this link: https://hpnglobal.com/2018-hpn-global-partner-conference/ It’s guaranteed to sell out fast!
Get In Touch!
The HPN Global Sourcing Team is here as a resource for both our Sales Associates and our Industry Partners. We’re here to bridge the gap between the two, and we’re also very social! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly to follow up on RFPs, schedule an office visit or local event, discuss strategy, you name it. We look forward to hearing from you!
Wishing Everyone a most Delightful 2018 – Cheers!
Senior VP, Sourcing & Industry Relations
13825 N Northsight Blvd., Suite 201
Scottsdale AZ, 85260
Phone: 480.998.9770 Ext 236
Website | LinkedIn | Blog
Performance Powered by Passion
So 2017 was flat out the Best…. Year….. Ever….. for HPN !!
This was the best year in the company’s history for revenues booked; The largest number of individual bookings; The largest year-end sitting funnel on the backlog in company history; and again I think we set the bar for the BEST CONFERENCE EVER in San Fran !!! (except for that super smelly live chicken !) Oh yea, and a Million room nights booked ! That’s a big deal all, for real.
You all should be proud of yourselves and we here in Scottsdale are proud to be associated with each and every one of you. This is absolutely the best team in the business.
It was truly another great year! Awesome new associates and friends and we are more like a family than ever and too much fun …….. Thanks to everybody !!
So here again are those basic founding ideas of the company, and our culture to set out a basis for our combined success in the new year.
Love you all and let’s go have an absolutely awesome 2018!!!!
Family First – for most of us our family and loved ones are why we do this, they are why we get up in the morning and go do what we do, time with them is the most precious thing we have. Hug them every day.
Have FUN – Have fun every day doing what you do. If you enjoy what you are doing, it pretty rapidly ceases to be work, it’s pretty cool to do something every day that you are having fun at! A lot of people go thru life without ever having that opportunity. We are in the best business in the world! I’ve never met a happier, more fun and successful group of people in my life !!
Be Nice to People – It’s a basic fact, People are nice to people who are nice to them, we are in the service business, people buy from people they like!
Be Passionate and Enthusiastic – Both are absolutely infectious, I put on a positive attitude every day first thing in the morning like clothes, Every day is the best day of my life because I choose for it to be that! Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do and success will certainly follow.
Life is all about Relationships – Relationships, Relationships, Relationships! At the end of the day, nothing else matters but the connections we make with other people, people we work with, people we love, people we do business with.
Change is our Friend – It’s another fact, everything changes, We are going to continue to see a ton of that in 2018 for sure. No matter what you think is the status quo, it is in fact, going to change and increasingly rapidly. The people that can assimilate and appreciate, and perhaps even lead change, are the ones who are successful, the ones who hate change are rarely successful.
Do what you say you are going to do – Business (and our competitors) are full of people that say “yea, I can handle that” and then drop the ball or don’t follow through. Nothing is worse in business than relying on somebody to get something done and then having it not happen, most especially in the service environment. Do what you say you are going to do every time !! Success will follow!
Let go of Negativity – Stuff is going to go wrong, somebody is going to make you mad, deal with it and then let go of it and move on. Harboring ongoing negativity hurts you, not them. I’m by no means saying to put up with bad behavior from toxic people, but get over it and realize life is too short. The past is the past, the only things we can affect are in the future.
Be a “Kid” as much as possible – Laugh easily and often, run around and play with your kids, set off fireworks, travel and marvel at the wonder of the world, do silly things with your family and loved ones, learn something new every day, cook something you have never cooked before, just have fun…….. life is short ☺
Thanks again to everybody and here’s to an absolutely phenomenal 2018!!!!! Let’s go do some epic shit!☺
Love you all!
William J. Kilburg CPA
Chairman and CEO
13825 N. North Sight Blvd
Scottsdale AZ, 85260