Name: Amy D.
Position: Senior Account Executive, Entertainment
Location: Los Angeles
Dream destination: My current dream travel destination would be driving from Paris through the French countryside, then over to the coast, and eventually making my way down to Italy and the Amalfi Coast and Capri.
Drink or treat of choice: Champagne and Prosecco
If you clicked on this story, you might be asking yourself: “What does a Senior Account Executive in Marriott’s Entertainment Sales department do, exactly?” I had the same question for Amy, an LA-based associate who has held that equal parts impressive and intriguing title at Marriott for the past 14 years.
In that role, Amy manages accounts (clients) that include live music and sporting events organizers, broadcasting companies, streaming platforms, and film production companies, to name a few. For example, if a band on tour or a music festival organizer is looking for hotels, their management team would meet with Amy to learn about the specific hotel or hotels in which they’re interested, and even visit in-person ahead of the event to make sure it checks all the boxes for their VIP client’s needs and budget.
“They would see guest rooms and meeting spaces and learn about the destination’s local activities,” she explains, adding: “I sometimes go with a client on their site visit to help discuss the benefits and limitations of each location to help them make the best decision.”
But she didn’t start in entertainment right away. Her Marriott journey started 22 years ago, as it does for many Marriott rising stars — at the front desk.
“I loved being the first point of contact [for guests] and I enjoyed the challenge of solving any problems they had while staying with us. It was fun to see regular guests return each week and get to know them over the years,” she recalls.
Following her stint at the front desk, she worked in the Reservation Sales department for a year before moving into Sales as an Executive Meeting Manager. “In that role I took care of small groups of 25 people or less and all their event needs. [in this position] is where I first learned about things like group contract clauses, food and beverage, and Audio-Visual packages,” she explains. From that role she went on to handle larger groups and then eventually transferred to different Marriott west coast hotels in the Group Sales department for a few years.
In 2011 she finally moved into Account Sales. “It’s really been my favorite job working with the clients and finding solutions to their hotel needs.” More recently, she’s specialized in the I Entertainment segment of that department where she takes care of those VIP clients she assists with during their tours, events, film productions and so on. “It’s been really rewarding getting to know and qualify this new segment of customers.”
Learn more about her fascinating career journey in her own words below.
How would you describe your experience as a Marriott associate?
Marriott has been an incredible company to work for! I’ve made so many friends and met so many mentors over the years, I’ve enjoyed new experiences and incredible travel — both personal and professional — and being a working Mom of two kids I’ve always felt supported by my leaders championing that family comes first, which means so much to me.
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of my job is getting to know my clients in a deeper way and understanding how I can help make their life easier and be a problem solver for them. I also enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the account spend grow year over year as I am able to win more business and find new opportunities for our hotels.
Is your role remote or on-property?
I work remote from home in Los Angeles. I have worked from home for the past 14 years.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I try to schedule appointments with clients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and have Monday and Friday at home to catch up on work and schedule any virtual calls. It doesn’t always work that way but it’s the goal. It’s very easy to be at my desk all day since entertainment clients need a fast response to email or text. However, I do go outside for a walk around lunch time to break up the days at home and clear my head a little.
What does a good day at work look like for you?
A good day at work is when I’m able to get through my inbox in the morning, then have the time to think, brainstorm and research new business streams, past business, lost business… then see a client for lunch or a site visit and spend some time in the afternoon checking in with regular clients on any new business needs.
What’s one surprising thing about your role that most people might not know?
Our team is very collaborative and supportive. We often call each other to discuss challenges, new hotels, processes and strategy, entertainment insights, and anything else that may come up. Even though we all work remotely there’s no hesitation in contacting someone on the team to bounce an idea or get some feedback on what we’re working on. I really appreciate my team and leadership and feel very supported in my role.
Describe a moment you felt particularly supported at Marriott.
I felt very supported during the pandemic and furlough. It was a very tough time for everyone on the team as well as for our company but there was a lot of communication throughout and I knew that we would make it through it.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
When I won the Chairman’s Award for my sales accomplishments. It had been a particularly challenging year with clients and contract push back as well as finding availability for the business. I worked harder than I had ever before, and it was very exciting to see my efforts recognized in that way. The trip to Peru was one I will never forget, and I am so grateful for the memories of that trip.
What was your Marriott interview process like? And do you have any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?
My interview process went great. I felt prepared for the STAR format questions and had done a lot of homework on the role before posting for it. I would recommend anyone interested in a job like mine reach out to people in the job and set up some time to connect with them and get some insights into what a ‘day in the life’ looks like.
Which of Marriott’s values resonate most with you?
The way Marriott values diversity and inclusion of all people regardless of who they are or who they love really resonates with me. Marriott’s culture is one that treats people with respect and fairness, and one that celebrates diversity and inclusion. Marriott understands the fundamental truth that people are transformed through travel and the company encourages and supports those opportunities for growth.
Do you remember a moment when you felt part of a community at Marriott?
Recently at our ASO (Account Sales Organization) all-team meeting in Seattle. It had been a few years since we had held an in-person meeting. The agenda fostered fun, education, networking, and connection and we covered all of that during the conference. I felt connection and community with my co-workers after we had all been through a rough few years over the pandemic. I really appreciated the in-person opportunity to meet up with others on the team and in the field, and I am very grateful the company made that event a priority.
How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?
I’ve used it for most of my family vacations over the years and it’s been a huge benefit! I also love the extra discount given over the holidays, which makes it really easy to make holiday plans at really incredible rates.