Hyatt Hotels recently honored Dianne Liberty, service convention services manager at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Florida, for her ability to manage multiple groups at a time and to maintain perfect service scores. Those were just two of the reasons she earned the 2012 Catering & Convention Services Manager of the Year award for the company’s large hotel category, which includes 40 properties across North America. We spoke with Liberty about what earning the award means and how her past experiences brought her to achieve this recognition in the industry.
PREVUE: How do you feel about earning the award?
Dianne Liberty: I feel honored and humbled to have been recognized among all the amazing catering and convention services managers at Hyatt’s large hotels throughout North America.
What do you do that sets you apart from other catering and convention services managers?
I think my keen attention to detail sets me apart. I take pride in my ability to take into account every detail when working with a group to plan its event at our hotel. I build strong relationships with my planners and attempt to really understand the unique needs of their groups—and the importance of the event’s success on that planner’s career.
How did you maintain perfect service scores for all the organizations you worked with?
I genuinely care about the groups I work with and want to make sure they are happy, as does everyone on the staff at Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.
What is the most difficult part of your job, and how do you overcome those challenges?
It can be challenging to juggle different groups when they both have urgent needs at the same time. Experience has taught me to just keep plugging away and it will all get done. And it’s always tough to say goodbye at the end of the conference.
What is the best part of your job?
I love when the planning phase is over and the actual event begins at the hotel. I find it extremely gratifying to watch everyone’s hard work pay off, see the event come to life and see my meeting planners and attendees having a great time. I appreciate my job every day. Throughout my career, I have learned there is a passion and association for just about everything. It’s exciting to learn about these different interests and work with the great people who are involved with them.
What advice do you have for new members of the industry that are just beginning their career?
I’d recommend starting out in operations because understanding how the different departments within a hotel interact is very important to working in convention services. You also need to be organized, be able to multitask and, of course, like working with people and tackling challenges.