Interview: Tara Constantinoff, Specialty and SMERF Sales Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton™ West Edmonton
SBHR: Welcome Tara, tell us your story.
TC: I started in the hospitality industry almost 14 years ago as a line cook. Once I got a taste for the industry, I just couldn’t get it out of my blood! I have done many things over the years, including working at Disney World for a year!
I have been here at the DoubleTree by Hilton West Edmonton for 5 years, and have seen and learned so many things. I started as the Sales and Catering Coordinator, and then moved into the Wedding Social Role. I think I have found my home here in the Specialty Market world though, specially the Sports Segment where I have been able to build some great business relationships, and I just couldn’t be happier about it.
SBHR: In your role you are dealing with many different Sports Teams with a variety of requests and wants. What value(s) is (are) most important when you think about your role?
TC: I think working with the sports market, the most important thing is to be transparent with the guests. 9 times out of 10 they are not professional planners, but volunteers. They are looking to you to tell them what they will need, and how you can meet all of their needs. Teams talk, so being consistent with what you offer is crucial to spread good things about your property.
SBHR: Have you had any odd sports team requests? And if yes, what was the strangest one?
TC: I get many different requests that I thought were odd in the beginning of my role, but the longer I am dealing with the Sports Market the more I am realizing that they really aren’t odd; but the norm and in some cases essential.
SBHR: What do you “value” the most in your role?
TC: I value the speed and diversity of my role. I enjoy the quick turnaround and the fast paced style of the market. As well as working with a ton of different people every day!
SBHR: What is your favourite sport to play, and what’s your favourite sport to watch?
TC: Volleyball is my favorite sport to play; I competed competitively throughout high school.
I love to watch hockey! The Oilers are my team, born and raised. However, I have found that watching the small town games in the older arenas is where my heart is.
SBHR: Who will you be cheering for in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup?
TC: The Canadian Women of course!