Hotel owner, operator and developer Hotel Equities (HE) recently held its annual GM & Sales Conference at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center. The conference content and curriculum—centered around the theme of “HE United”—was two years in the making as last year was the first time in the firm’s 33-year history that it did not hold its in-person annual leadership conference.
Since 2019, HE’s hotel portfolio has doubled in size, largely due to the formation of strategic partnerships with The Witness Group, Coakley & Williams, The Hotel Group and Sethi Management Inc., all of which were present for the event. The conference consisted of numerous teambuilding exercises and breakouts aimed to further develop the strengths of attendees, as well as an awards ceremony honoring outstanding achievement and top individuals and hotels, according to the company.
Top honors awarded include Hotel of the Year, Exceptional Guest Experience, General Manager of the Year, Director of Sales of the Year, the Chairman’s Award honoring a team member who represents HE’s founding pillars and the iCARE Award recognizing a team member with exemplary commitment to servant leadership, won by Raj Chollangi, GM, Fairfield by Marriott Edmonton International Airport (shown center, with (left to right) HE executives Bryan DeCort, Martin Stitt, Brad Rahinsky and Fred Cerrone).
More than 400 members of the firm attended, including the above-property leadership team, general managers, directors of sales, regional directors of operations and sales & revenue management.
This conference program was focused on bringing the HE family together to refresh, connect, and recharge after a turbulent two years, the company reports. The content-specific training sessions fell in line with the theme, with courses centered around industry updates, high-level brand-specific overviews, risk mitigation and more.
In addition to training sessions and team-building exercises, the conference provided an opportunity for attendees to participate in a community service project. This year, HE chose to support CURE Childhood Cancer. CURE is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research while supporting patients and their families. In support of the organization, HE held a fundraiser and created care packages for patients and their families. In the end, HE raised nearly $4,000 and donated more than 300 care packages.
The conference would not have been made possible without the support of the sponsoring vendors who provide goods and services to the HE portfolio. Vendor partners participated in a trade show on the first day. Top vendor sponsors included EcoLab, MyDigitalOffice, Trintech and HD Supply.
The annual conference is recognized as a keystone event for the HE family, as it is an opportunity to ensure the company culture continues to thrive and reinforces best practices for all, the company reports.