One of the career aspects of joining the executive team with a major hospitality brand is something you either love or hate.
Hate it, and it’s probably not long before you find another field. Love it, and it can be an adventure.
Pat Trammell, who has joined the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront as senior director of the sales and marketing department, said she’s in the second category.
“I like the nomadic lifestyle,” said Trammell.
After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in public relations and communications, Trammell went to work at health care and automotive companies in Detroit, where she met and married her husband, Jim.
He’s a management consultant, so regularly relocating isn’t an issue.
“As long as he has his laptop and an airport, he’s fine,” said Trammell.
The couple moved to Raleigh, N.C., where Trammell found the much smaller market had few job openings in the public relations field.
“What could I do?” said Trammell, who took a job in the convention sales department at the Hilton in Raleigh. That job began a new career that has spanned almost 30 years.
The Hyatt Downtown is Trammell’s sixth sales position with the brand since 1991.
She has worked at properties in Greenville, S.C.; Valencia, Calif.; Cincinnati; Dearborn, Mich., and most recently, Atlanta, before moving to Jacksonville about six weeks ago.
“I like hospitality sales because it’s a relationship business,” said Trammell.
She also likes having developed a national and international network of business and friendship contacts over the years.
For example, she worked with Hyatt General Manager Dan King in Dearborn and with Visit Jacksonville Senior Vice President of Destination Sales and Marketing Dennis Tracy in Cincinnati.
“The best part is my friends all over the country. Anywhere I go, I know people,” said Trammell.
As a specialist in marketing convention hotels to large groups, Trammell said one of the most important parts of her job for the past several years has been adapting to the changing business group travel market.
“We have to understand how that affects our business and we have to be nimble,” she said.
“Pat has sold all levels of convention business that Hyatt serves. She’s really going to help us build our business,” said King.
Selling a hotel with more than 960 guest rooms has its advantages and challenges. It takes a lot of business to keep the hotel full, but a large group has the opportunity to stay together rather than split up among several hotels.
“When the Hyatt is full, that’s half of the hotel capacity Downtown,” said Trammell.
Her new job in Jacksonville isn’t the first time Trammell has been in the 32202 ZIP code.
In 2005, she was on the team from the Hyatt Regency Dearborn that came to observe Super Bowl XXXIX. The Dearborn Hyatt was the headquarters hotel for the Seattle Seahawks when they played in the Super Bowl the following year.
Trammell said one of the objectives shared by the local hospitality industry, Visit Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce and the City is to develop Jacksonville as a destination and not just a place to pass through on the way south.
She thinks Jacksonville has advantages that can be maximized and marketed.
“People who come here tell us they’re impressed by the hospitality, not just in the hotel, but out in the community. When a big group comes here, the mayor will greet them. There’s a higher level of participation than in other cities,” said Trammell.
After competing with Jacksonville for convention business for years, Trammell said she better understands the area’s main advantage even though she has only lived here for a short time.
“When you’re in Jacksonville, you know you’re in Florida but you’re still in the South. You don’t get that in Orlando or Miami,” she said.
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