“From the Desk of…”: Q&A with Meetings Sales Manager Mary Statkewicz
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Meetings
The latest edition of our “From the Desk of…” series is a spotlight Q&A with Mary Statkewicz, CMP, sales manager for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism, servicing Alabama association and corporate clients as well as Arkansas and Georgia associations, corporate and SMERF. Read on to learn what makes Mary tick.
Q: How did you get started in the hospitality industry?
A: I worked my way through college, and when I graduated from the University of South Alabama, I wanted to move away from Mobile. A friend and I moved to Dallas to find jobs. Mine was with the newest National Sales Office for Marriott.
Q: When did you start at Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism? What drew you to the organization?
A: November 2005. I took a rest from the hotel industry in 2000 and got a part-time job at LuLu’s. One summer, I waited on Patti Culp with the Alabama Travel Council and Bobby Timmons with the Alabama Sheriffs’ Association, and she told me about a sales manager position at the CVB. She said I needed to get back in the industry. I sent in my resume, interviewed and got the job!
Q: What is the best part of your job? Why?
A: The worst part, making cold calls, turned into the best part – creating lifelong friendships with planners.
Q: Why should meeting planners work with CVB sales teams?
A: We can help you find the perfect meeting location, make recommendations for team-building, spouse events and off-site activities. We are here to make it easier for you to find the hidden gems in our destination and help promote your event; plus, all our services are complimentary (free).
Q: What sets Gulf Shores and Orange Beach apart as a great meetings destination
A: I know your attendees will enjoy meeting here and experiencing Alabama’s sugar white-sand beaches, sparkling turquoise water and subtropical climate paired with fresh local seafood and the liveliest attractions. Our location is sure to please your members. They will want to bring their families and increase your conference attendance.
Now for a little destination fun...
Favorite breakfast/brunch spot: Cobalt for brunch
Favorite lunch location: Sea-n-Suds
Favorite restaurant for a nice dinner: Voyager’s at Perdido Beach Resort
Favorite family fun restaurant: LuLu’s
Favorite sweets or coffee shop: Hmmm…too hard to choose!
Favorite place for cocktails: Perch at The Lodge
Favorite spot for live music: Flora-Bama
Favorite activities: Sail Wild Hearts sunset sails and putt-putt with family at Pirate’s Island
Favorite place to shop: The grocery store, HA!
Which do you prefer – sunset or sunrise?: Sunset with a glass of cab
Contact Mary today at [email protected] to get started planning. Learn more about how Mary can go to work for meeting planners by checking out our complimentary services, including a comprehensive marketing toolkit.