Global Meetings Industry Day unites the profession around the value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities, all driven by face-to-face interactions.


Behind the scenes of all those business meetings and events are service professionals who commit every day to ensuring meeting attendees and hotel and resort guests have a positive experience, one that will make them want to come back. Their work is a testament to why the meeting industry prospers, and on behalf of Associated Luxury Hotels International, we thank them. 


Meet some of the people who are the heart and soul of this industry. 


Danielle Beebe, Assistant Front Office Manager, The Wigwam 



How long in position: 1 year 4 months 


How long on property: 1 year 7 months 


How many years in the hospitality industry: This is my first job in the hospitality industry, 1 year 7 months.  


How does a group meeting affect the energy of you, your team, the staff or the hotel? When the resort hosts group events, the staff often experiences a surge in morale. The bustling atmosphere, increased interactions, and shared sense of purpose create a positive vibe. Guests and associates feed off this energy. There are numerous intricate components across all departments, and when they synchronize and flow seamlessly, it’s truly a remarkable sight. As the front office team, you play a crucial role, with many moving parts, attention to detail becomes critical. Ensuring that guests’ needs are met enhances their perception of the hotel. Guests often approach you with inquiries, requests, or feedback. Your responsiveness and knowledge impact their overall experience.  


What’s one thing guests don’t realize about the work you do? Guests often see us handling phone calls and assisting with day-to-day requests at the front office, but our role extends beyond check-ins and check-outs. What they might not realize is how closely we collaborate as a cohesive team throughout the entire resort. We’ve got each other’s backs, and we’re always ready to lend a hand in other departments when needed.  


What makes for a great front desk agent? A great front desk agent goes beyond the basics. They provide personalized attention, actively listen to guests, and anticipate their needs. Their commitment to exceptional service ensures that every interaction leaves a positive impression. A great front desk agent loves what they do. Their enthusiasm for their community and workplace shines through their interactions, their passion enhances the guest experience. Understanding guests’ emotions and needs is crucial. A great front desk agent empathizes with travelers, whether they are here for business or leisure. They tailor recommendations based on individual preferences, creating memorable moments. Pulling from their personal experiences enriches their recommendations, making them authentic and valuable.   


What advice would you give a meeting planner on how to utilize your skills? As a seasoned professional with a knack for problem-solving and customer service, I would be a great asset in the following ways: My ability to calm people down and find solutions makes me an asset during high-pressure situations. This would help ensure a smooth experience for attendees. Involve me in guest interactions, whether it’s welcoming attendees, addressing concerns, or ensuring their needs are met. Allow me to foster a positive work environment, where team members feel supported and motivated. A happy team contributes to overall guest happiness. A well-utilized team member can elevate any event, leaving a lasting impression on both attendees and organizers.   



Juan Carvalho, Pool Attendant, Caribe Royale Orlando 



How long in position: 14 months 


How long on property: 14 months 


How many years in the hospitality industry: 3 years    


What do you enjoy most about your job? My team of coworkers; we are a true team. We have fun with our guests and with each other. 


What’s one tip/advice you would give a hotel guest on how to make the most of their visit? Take time to walk around the property to see all of the experiences that are offered, and feel free to ask questions about the resort or things to do in our beautiful city of Orlando. 


What advice would you give to someone considering a career in hospitality? Remember to always treat your guests the same way you would want to be treated. 


What’s your personal favorite activity that you can do at the hotel? Relax and enjoy a beautify day by the pool. Amazing food, drinks and the best customer service ever! 


How do you ensure that meeting attendees have a memorable experience? As with any of our guests, our goal is to create a memorable experience. Talking with each of our guests, getting to know them and making them laugh is always pleasant and rewarding. 



Cody Creighton, Executive Services Manager/Concierge, Ojai Valley Inn 



How long in position: 6 years 


How long on property: 6 years 


How many years in the hospitality industry: 16 years 


How does a group meeting affect the energy of you, your team, the staff or the hotel? Welcoming and assisting guests who are part of a group meeting is always a pleasure. The guests are all visiting for a collective purpose within their group which adds a sense of community throughout the resort. 


What makes for a great concierge? A great concierge represents the resort to our guests, and represents our guests to the resort. Caring for the guests and anticipating their specific needs adds personalized touches that create incredible stays. 


What advice would you give a meeting planner on how to utilize your skills? Feel welcome to contact the concierge early into the planning process to get to know the resort through the minds of associates who know it well. Details, tips, and insider knowledge of what makes the hotel and surrounding areas special are all areas that a great concierge is excited to share. 


What advice would you give a hotel guest on how to make the most of their visit? Always feel welcome to visit the concierge desk or contact the team. A concierge thrives in personalizing a guest’s visit, and getting to know the guest is our favorite way to learn how to meet expectations. 



Taylor Flores, Senior Event Operations Captain, Ojai Valley Inn 

Taylor F


How long in position: 3.5 years 


How long on property: 13 years 


How many years in the hospitality industry: 18 years 


What do you enjoy most about your job? The Ojai Valley Inn gives me the opportunity to serve a variety of groups, events and occasions. Everyday I’m given the chance to make a unique impact on an event that I know is hugely meaningful to those experiencing it. Seeing the unique and unforgettable memories made at the Ojai Valley Inn brings a lot of value to my position.  


What advice would you give a meeting planner on how to utilize your skills? A huge benefit that someone in my role can provide to a meeting planner is robust knowledge of the property. The Ojai Valley Inn is a very unique space, and with that comes a wide variety of experiences for groups on property. I love being able to share that with group meeting planners, that in turn, can plan an unforgettable experience for their groups.  


What advice would you give to someone considering a career in hospitality? There are many departments that you might choose to work in but ultimately it’s the synergy across all of them that makes the magic happen in hospitality. For someone new, I would say, be a sponge. Learn beyond just your role in your department because that knowledge will not only benefit you, but give you the opportunity to better serve your guests.  


What’s one thing guests don’t realize about the work you do? As a Senior Events Operations Captain, I essentially will jump into any task needed to support the successful execution of an event. From timekeeping and staff management, to driving guest shuttles and expediting in the kitchen, my goal is to make every detail of the event seamless and support the success of the event planners.  


Alvaro J Garces, Managing Director, Oceanside Limo Transportation, West Palm Beach, Florida 



How long in position: 10 years 


How many years have you been supporting the hospitality industry: All my life. I was born into a family of entrepreneurs; my parents owned a restaurant and a delicatessen for over 20 years and my 1st official job was at a local golf club working as a server and bartender.  


How does group business affect the energy of you and your team? My team and I have a very positive outlook on group business as it's what propels our business throughout our season. Groups in town give our team the opportunity to reconnect and do some team bonding. It also gives us the opportunity to put our skills on display and showcase what Oceanside is all about. 


What makes for a great transportation/limo service? Sounds cliche but always putting the customer first. It's important to take the time to get to know your client and seek out their expectations and their vision regarding transportation needs. Paying attention to the small details like the temperature in the vehicle, a preferred beverage, radio station, volume level, are all things that make a difference because it's showing your client that you are trying to make them feel as comfortable as possible throughout their experience. We always remind our team, it's not just about taking passengers from point a to point b. It's about offering an experience that will make them feel comfortable and at ease, allowing them to focus on something other than just getting to their destination. 


What advice would you give a meeting planner on how to best utilize your service? Get a good feel for how your transportation vendor operates. Ask questions like: 'Until what time do you have a dispatcher in the office answering calls or emails? How do you communicate with your drivers regarding changes and updates? What vehicles do you have in your fleet? How often do you use affiliates to assist you with work you can't keep in-house?' Asking some of these questions will give you a good perspective of how your vendor conducts business. It will also put your vendor on high alert as they now see what you are looking out for while working with them. Also make sure to express your expectations and your concerns. Discuss the need of any, and all, VIP clients requiring added attention or specific needs you may have regarding signage on vehicles and so forth. 


What do you enjoy most about your job? I just love to serve! I enjoy projecting positivity, making people feel comfortable and at ease. The feeling of a client genuinely saying "thank you for such great service" will never get old, all the stress and craziness that happens behind the scenes will always be worth hearing those words. 


Catalina Guiot, Server at Calypso’s, Caribe Royale Orlando 



How long in position: 3 years 


How long on property: 3 years


How many years in the hospitality industry: 5 years    


What do you enjoy most about your job? What I enjoy most is having the opportunity to provide the best experience and service to many different types of guests and customers. Having a great team to work with and learning about many cultures.  


How does a group meeting affect the energy of the team, the staff or the hotel? Meetings bring consistent business to the hotel, which energizes everyone on the team.    


What makes for a great server? A great server is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. They must be professional, and always be focused on creating a positive experience for our guests. 


What advice would you give a meeting planner? Teamwork. We’re all focused on and invested in the success of the meeting! 



Carmen Moran, Spa Manager, PGA National Resort 



How long in position: 6 months ago, I transitioned from Lead Massage Therapist into Spa Management. 


How long on property: 2 years. I helped reopen The Spa after it was redesigned.  


How many years in the hospitality industry: 30 years in the spa industry as a multi-licensed provider- Massage, Skin and Nail care.  


How does a group meeting affect the energy of you, your team, the staff or the hotel? The spa team collaborates closely, coordinating schedules, treatments, and amenities to accommodate the group’s needs seamlessly. This collective effort infuses the spa with a dynamic energy, fueled by the excitement of catering to a diverse group of guests. There’s a sense of pride and satisfaction in our ability to deliver exceptional service amidst the lively atmosphere of group activity at the hotel. 


What’s one thing guests don’t realize about the work you do? Managing a spa involves two distinct but interconnected aspects: team management and guest experience creation. Balancing these two aspects requires strong leadership, organizational skills, and a deep understanding of both employee dynamics and customer preferences.  


What makes for a great spa team member? An excellent spa team member is someone who collaborates effectively with colleagues, enjoys the opportunity to create outstanding guest experiences, and appreciates learning and growing within their particular craft. 


Give me a couple of reasons why a guest should take time to experience the spa? Guests visit the spa for its rejuvenating ambiance, luxurious treatments, and personalized care. It offers a serene escape from daily stress, where they can indulge in pampering rituals tailored to meet their needs. The focus on wellness combined with relaxation leaves guests ready to face the world anew. 



Noelia Nava, Director of Housekeeping, The Wigwam 



How long in position: 15 years 


How long on property: 15 years 


How many years in the hospitality industry: 35 years 


What’s the most requested item that guests need more of? Regular Coffee and towels. 


How many steps do you walk in a day? Over 5,000 steps. 


What makes for a great housekeeper? Attention to detail in everything.


What do you enjoy most about your job? Serving internal and external guests.   



Jasmine Pahlad, Front Desk Agent, Caribe Royale Orlando 



How long in position: 3 years 


How long on property: 4 months here at Caribe Royale 


How many years in the hospitality industry: 3 years in the hospitality industry 


How does a group meeting at the hotel affect the energy of your team, the staff or the hotel? In terms of accommodating groups at the hotel, both the team and I excel particularly with larger groups. We pride ourselves on being well-prepared and thoroughly acquainted with all the essential details well before their scheduled arrival. Additionally, managing well-traveled groups significantly streamlines the process for us. 


What’s one thing guests don’t realize about the work you do? I believe some guests may not fully appreciate the effort we dedicate to ensuring their stay is as seamless and pleasant as can be. 


What makes for a great front desk associate? The key qualities I believe make a great front desk associate include the ability to attentively listen to guests and offer optimal solutions for their needs. Additionally, keen attention to detail and a friendly demeanor towards guests and colleagues are essential attributes. 


Dallas Wynne, Executive Chef of The Butchers Club, PGA National Resort

Dallas Wayne


How long in position: 1 ½ years 


How long on property: 1 ½ years 


How many years in the hospitality industry: 15 years 


What do you enjoy most about your job? I love the challenge. Every day is something new and exciting and no service is the same, so it keeps you on your toes while being able to do something that you love. I get to work with like-minded individuals who care so much about the product that we serve and want to make people happy through food.  


Tell us about the newest food item you’ve introduced on property? The newest item we have implemented on the menu is a Beef Wellington experience. I wanted to stay true to concept and do something exciting and although beef wellington is a classic you don’t see it on menus very often. We start with a 14oz barrel cut tenderloin and brush it with dijon mustard and wrap it with truffle mushroom duxelle, proscuitto, spinach crepe and puff pastry. Served with madeira sauce and creamy herbaceous spinach.  


What advice would you give a meeting planner? Family style can make the guest experience a lot more fun as everyone is sharing and getting to try a little bit of everything this can also alleviate a lot of worries that come from food aversions because the guests aren’t stuck with just one option there are typically multiple dishes on the table at once.  


What are the biggest changes you’re seeing in F&B when it comes to group meetings? Group meetings are becoming more interactive and fun. We have had a lot of requests to do cooking demonstrations or hands on activities that engage the groups and create a new interactive format of dining and meeting.