For many of us who have been in the meetings industry for years, Mike Dominguez is a fixture—a visionary, vocal co-chair of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and member of more boards and committees than fit on this page, and senior vice president and chief sales officer for MGM Resorts International for the past 7 years (I have worked with him on four events in that time)—with 7 years at Loews Hotels before that. He’s always been that person on the stage sharing his insights on where the industry is headed and what we need to do next.
So upon learning that he is leaving his role at MGM to take the helm as CEO and president of Associated Luxury Hotels International—just the fourth CEO in ALHI’s 33-year legacy—my first impression was probably a lot like that of many others: Will he still be involved in the meetings industry? Will we see Mike any more?
“I’m not going anywhere,” he assured me during a phone interview. “I still see myself speaking and educating in the industry. My passion for this industry certainly will not change.”
The ALHI Connection
For Dominguez, this new role was the perfect opportunity that came at just the right time. When he was approached by ALHI, “I wasn’t even looking for a job,” he says, explaining that it was months after ALHI CEO Josh Lesnick had resigned.
“There is no other sales role that would have taken me away from MGM,” he says. “The chance to lead a pure sales organization is what I love and what I do. It’s such an opportunity to take everything I have done in my career and bring it to ALHI.”
In runs even deeper than that, because he has already been connected with ALHI—which represents 250 luxury-level and upper-upscale meetings- and incentives-focused hotels and resorts worldwide—throughout his tenure at both MGM and Loews. He has already been involved with ALHI for a total of 14 years—before he will even start working there. “I’m excited because I already know the organization and the portfolio, which represents the best of the best in luxury.”
On a more personal level, the new role offers him the flexibility to relocate wherever he chooses—and he will be moving to Texas to be near his mother, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. “It’s very manageable at this point,” he shares. “This allows me to spend time with my mother before the disease starts to take its toll.”
The bonus question: Is he even taking time off before he assumes the helm of ALHI on July 8? Those of us who know Mike Dominguez would chuckle at the thought. “Sure, I’ll take the weekend,” he says jokingly (except that he is dead serious). “My last day is next Friday, I have the weekend off, and I’ll be ready to start on Monday.”