Andrea Kasnic is director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. In April she was named Hyatt Hotels Director of Sales of the Year, an award given to those who excel in more than 23 areas, including revenue management, work ethic and innovation. A graduate of Florida State University, Kasnic joined Hyatt in 1998 and has served as sales manager at several of the chain's properties.
How did it feel to be named Hyatt's Director of Sales of the Year at such a challenging time? It was awesome. I was very excited, but I look at it from a team perspective -- it was our team that really deserved the award. We went through a lot of challenges in 2009, and somehow we made the best of a bad situation.
What trends do you see in meetings? Lead times are definitely getting shorter, but what I notice most is that since the start of this year, groups are wanting to move forward and make decisions. This is a big change from last year. Planners are really striving to improve their meeting content and working closer with the hotel to make sure they have strong attendance. What's most important is that the trials of the past year or two have made us all become much more solid partners.
What do you love best about Chicago? The wonderful spring, summer and fall we have here all make winter worth it. This is just an amazing city to be in, there's so much to do. I love riding my bike along the waterfront, the street festivals -- it's beautiful, safe and clean, and our hotel is right in the center of it all.