Hawaii Hospitality - May/June 2014 - (Page 24)
Taking the Lead in
Sales and marketing is one of the most challenging departments
in the hotel industry. In this issue we highlight the talent and
accomplishments of four high-achieving sales and marketing
professionals and ﬁnd out what keeps them motivated.
BY STACY POPE
Senior Vice President of Sales,
Marketing and Revenue Management
Aston Hotels & Resorts
With more than 30 years in sales and marketing for Castle
Resorts & Hotels, Aloha Airlines, SWC Marketing, Aloha United
Way and Aston Hotels & Resorts, Shari Chang is a leader in
Hawaii's hospitality and travel industry. She is currently senior
vice president of sales, marketing and revenue management
for Aston Hotels & Resorts and recently has overseen Aston's
successful expansion to sought-after markets in California,
Nevada and Florida.
"Some people try to treat marketing as a science, but it's
not," Chang says. "It's an art, and creativity is important. New
things pop up every year to challenge our ability to reach target
markets, so we must be sharp and open to continually learning
The market has also experienced a major change over the
past seven years, she adds. "Dynamic pricing has allowed revenue
management to become much more sophisticated," Chang
says, "and sales and marketing teams have had to sharpen their
analytical skills to tackle decisions that impact the future of
their companies." She recommends that young professionals just
starting out in sales, marketing and revenue "should have a broad
background that encompasses more than one specialty, as that
will open opportunities for future development."
Despite her motivation and achievements, Chang is an ardent
supporter of a healthy work-life balance. "I make sure my team
knows there is more to life than work," she says. As a member of
both the International Women's Leadership Federation, a premier
women's networking organization, and the advisory board at the
University of Hawaii's School of Travel Industry Management,
Chang also mentors future leaders in hospitality.
Hawaii Hospitality May/June 2014
Director of Sales and Marketing
Embassy Suites - Waikiki Beach Walk
Susan Koehler joined Embassy Suites - Waikiki Beach
Walk in 2010 as director of sales and marketing.
With a BSBA in hotel and restaurant management and
more than 20 years in business development, sales-team
training, management and marketing for Ramada Worldwide,
Sheraton, Intercontinental Worldwide and Embassy Suites,
Kamehameha Schools graduate Koehler knows how to move
a property forward. In addition to serving as president of the
Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, she
has helped position Embassy Suites - Waikiki Beach Walk as
the highest performing Embassy Suites in the U.S. and helped
grow its brand recognition internationally.
How does Koehler make it happen? "I thrive in dynamic
environments and get fulfillment from building and
implementing innovative solutions," she says. "Every day I
look at how I can 'move the needle.' It's important to stay
focused on a plan, but be ready to adjust as opportunities
evolve or dissolve.
"I'm proud to make a positive difference at the
hotel. Bringing new ideas and strategies, implementing
new programs and promotions, building bridges and
partnerships, as well as seizing opportunities domestically
and internationally, are accomplishments I reflect on," she
continues. "However, I'm especially proud when a manager
or team member expresses appreciation for keeping the hotel
busy with the right business mix."
Koehler adds, "I love living in Hawaii and feel fortunate
that promoting this idyllic destination is part of my job."
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality - May/June 2014
Are You Inspection Ready?
Lanai: Small Island, Big Aloha
Great Restaurants: W Bistro
Talk Story with George Szigeti
Out of Sight, Not out of Mind
Food & Beverage SuperStars
Taking the Lead: Sales & Marketing
Jaclyn Loo of Google Inc.
Hawaii Hospitality - May/June 2014