After graduating in hotel management with honors in 1985 from Istituto Professionale Alberghiero Statale and some post graduate work in incentive and leisure travel, Renato Grieco went to work at Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts and stayed there for 8 years. In 1996 he moved from the hotel industry to the incentive industry working with MCI Group, where he now is director of business development for Ovation, Global DMC, where he says, his mentor Reto Keller, “guided me throughout my career.”
In his 23 years in the incentive industy he has so many fond memories, he said, but there is one incentive experience that he remembers as being particularly incredible. “We had an incentive from Australia and unexpectedly it started to snow here in Switzerland. During the coffee break we had to organize a snow-ball fight outside the hotel…as most of the audience had never seen the snow before…and some people were so happy that they had tears in their eyes.”
His greatest source of pride, in fact, is being a part of MCI-Ovation, where “It allowed me to discover and grow in the wonderful industry of incentive travel.”
When he’s not working, Renato loves to hike, garden, do charity work when time allows, and cook for friends. He loves spending time with family and traveling with his sweetheart and his nephew who is 30 and his two nieces who are 28 and 16. “It is so much fun traveling with them,” he said.
He has a passion for everything related to the history of the RMS Titanic. “This goes back to 1979 when I first heard about the history of this impressive vessel” and he’s also a bit of a movie buff counting Cinema Paradiso as one of his favorites. He’s read the Lord of the Rings (1stbook only) and is partial to Sting’s Tears from the Stars and is also fond of another pastime cooking—and eating. “Having Italian roots, I love enjoying great food and wine. I love all of it!”
If he had the chance to host an exclusive dinner party at his favorite restaurant, the first guest on his list would be Queen Elizabeth II. “She is just amazing! She went through so many incredible historical defining moments, that I’m sure if this would be possible, I could listen her storytelling for hours.” He’d also invite José Mujica, former president of Uruguay, who Renato said has been described as "the world's humblest head of state" due to his austere lifestyle and his donation of around 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs."
He’d also invite President Obama because, he said, “I generally loved his way to engage with people and how much energy he put to make real change in this world.” Maria Callas would be there, too, said Renato because, “she was such an incredible person. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf said ‘that woman is a miracle’…there is nothing more to say. Last, but not least, he would invite his mother, because, he said, “I’m sure she would be thrilled to be there!”