Read the SITE NCC newsletter for the end of 2015 http://bit.ly/site-dec15
Hilary Ebright, Senior Sales Manager, Carmel Valley Ranch, Carmel, California is serving as President for the SITE Northern California Chapter (NCC) in 2016. Prior to being named President, Hilary served for three years as the chapter’s Vice-President – Finance. During her over 20 year career in the hospitality industry Hilary’s passion for creating memorable experiences has never faded. “I believe in providing outstanding customer service with a blend of humor and creativity. Working at Carmel Valley Ranch allows me to provide guests with a unique and amazing resort experience.”
SITE appreciates that being a Chapter Leader is a volunteer position and requires a significant time commitment. What/who motivated you to assume a Chapter Leader position?
Hilary: I joined SITE in 2012 at the encouragement of Kristi Clark, Global Accounts Director at Revolution RFP in Northern California. I met Kristi at one of the chapter’s CSR Educational events and was welcomed with open arms and encouraged to participate and learn more about the organization. I attended a few more events that year and decided to join the SITE Northern California Chapter to show my dedication for more leisure and incentive trips in the industry. At the time I was not working for a leisure hotel, however this quickly changed after becoming a member of SITE NCC. Only a few months after joining the chapter I met Serena McCabe, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Thompson Seattle Hotel (previously with Carmel Valley Ranch) and she hired me as Senior Sales Manager for Carmel Valley Ranch, located in the beautiful mountain settings of Carmel, California. Without joining SITE NCC I would have never had the opportunity to meet and become friends with Serena, which has launched my career selling a luxury resort focused on incentive trips.
With MPI being a powerhouse in your region, what do you tell prospective members are the greatest personal and professional benefits of being a member of SITE?
Hilary: MPI is a great partner in the industry, however due to its size you sometimes feel lost. SITE and the local chapters have intimate events that focus on the incentive market, where MPI has more of a focus on large corporate events. With the smaller more intimate mixers and educational events you are able to meet all of the attendees and get the face-to-face time that you need to start building a solid relationship.
The membership in SITE is very large and growing constantly and with your membership you have direct contact with the people planning incentive trips. You have a wonderful opportunity to network with people that are buying and selling NOW! I feel that the greatest personal benefit is the opportunity to meet your counterparts in the industry to grow your personal network. This will open you up to opportunities that may have not been available to you before.
What are some of the educational activities and events SITE NCC has planned for 2016 to engage current and prospective members and "Take IT to the next level" ?
Hilary: Our first chapter event was a February mixer in San Francisco held at a very chic location that generated a lot of buzz for the chapter. The following day we represented SITENCC at the MPI ACE Trade-show in San Francisco at the Moscone Center to attract new members and to inform current members about our exciting Education Event in March.
We are honored to be hosting Rhonda Brewer, SITE Immediate Past President, as the speaker for our Spring Educational Event on 22 March at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, CA. The Claremont has recently been remodeled and is now apart of the Fairmont collection. We are excited to spotlight such a unique and luxury property for our event in March.
How can SITE better improve our communications and outreach to current and prospective members?
Hilary: We are very excited about the new “Brojure” which will be a great marketing and recruitment tool for chapters. This tool will help with communication between chapter leaders and members - the information will be in one location and more transparent.