August will go down in the history of the Hyatt Downtown as a month of international recognition for the hotel and one of its executives.
Dianne Liberty, senior convention services manager at the 963-room hotel on the Northbank, was named catering and convention services manager of the year in the company's large hotel category, which includes 40 properties in North America.
Liberty discovered the hospitality business in high school when she participated in a program of the Distributive Education Clubs of America. She went to class half the day and worked in a hotel the other half.
"I loved it. This industry touches people," she said.
Liberty's career for the past 35 years has also been with Hyatts in Chicago; Dearborn, Mich. Sarasota; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Liberty said she worked with Hyatt Downtown General Manager Dan King in Dearborn.
Working in convention services is about anticipating needs and fulfilling those needs.
"I plan every detail of a convention and when they arrive, I assist with the execution," Liberty said.
"Dianne is the liaison between the group and every department in the hotel," said Melissa Milione, senior director of catering and convention services.
That includes transportation between the hotel and airport, guest rooms, banquet facilities, menus, exhibit set up, audio-visual needs and anything else a group might need while at the hotel.
The final step also is important.
"I make sure their invoice is correct," said Liberty.
The annual award is based on surveying meeting planners and Liberty scored perfect ratings while in Dearborn in the "likely to recommend" and
"satisfaction with planning" categories, Milione said. Since Liberty arrived at the Hyatt
Downtown in November, Milione said she has become a leader.
"She consistently exceeds my expectations," said Milione.
King added, "Dianne has had great success because she is an excellent communicator and she has the ability to remain calm in any situation."
Liberty said no two conventions or groups are the same.
"I love them all. The people I meet and the friendships I have made are the best parts of my job," she said.
The Hyatt Downtown was recognized in the August "Best of" issue of Convene magazine, the trade publication of the Professional Convention Management Association as having one of the top five food and beverage departments in the world.
Also on the list are the Colorado Convention Center, Minneapolis Convention Center, Metro Toronto Convention Center and the Four Season Resort in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The annual selection is based on surveys and feedback from association members.
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