Chris Howard has worked in the hospitality industry for a decade, but recently made Austin his home, where he’s settling into his new role as director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Regency Austin. Situated on the shore of Lady Bird Lake, the hotel sports a modern aesthetic that suits Austin’s vibrant downtown. The AAA Four Diamond property off ers 45,000 square feet of customizable function space, which Howard is ready to sell.

TXM+E: How did you get into the industry? 
My first hotel job was in high school, I originally wanted to be a chef and interned in the kitchen at a Hilton hotel. I quickly realized that culinary as a career was not in my future (though I still have a passion for cooking to this day) and moved to the front office. The rest is history and propelled me to study hospitality management in college, which led to my 10-year, and counting, career with Hyatt.

TXM+E: What are you looking forward to in your new role as director of sales and marketing at Hyatt Regency Austin? 
Working with an incredible team of sales professionals and living in a city that is as exciting, unique and vibrant as Austin.

TXM+E: What do you enjoy most about the hotel? About your job? 
The product, the location, the company, but most importantly, the team. They really are an incredibly talented group of sales professionals and I am blessed to be able to work with them every day. 

TXM+E: How do you think your past industry experience has prepared you for this role? 
Every role I have held, from director of sales and marketing at an amazing hotel in central New Jersey, to sales trainee at a beautiful resort in southern California, to associate director of sales at one of the largest convention hotels in the company, has prepared me for my role as director of sales and marketing in Austin. What I love most about this job is how much you learn on a daily basis because of the challenges we face as hoteliers. Every single market, hotel, colleague and customer that I have had the pleasure of working with has helped shape the leader I am today. 

TXM+E: What goals do you have in mind for the Hyatt Regency Austin this year and further down the line?  
With all of the new inventory coming in, planners have plenty of great choices in Austin. My goal is to ensure that our customers understand that when they book with Hyatt Regency Austin, they are getting more than just a nice guest room and meeting space, which of course they will, thanks to our recently completed $40 million renovation. I want them to know that when they book with us, they are also buying an experience that mirrors all of the wonderful things Austin has to offer. We are proud of our service, location and staff that help shape the customer experience … and look forward to sharing that for years to come. 

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Sponsored by Ford Park

1. The versatile event center features five world-class facilities on 221 acres. Ford Park Entertainment Complex is comprised of Ford Fields, Ford Pavilion, Ford Arena, Ford Exhibit Hall and Ford Midway. It is also home to eight meeting rooms ranging in size from 525 square feet to 1,680 square feet, 2 open air barns, and 5,000 well-lit parking spaces onsite.