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. 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better champion of Amarillo than Hope Stokes, director of brand management for the Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council. Born and raised in the Texas Panhandle city, she graduated from nearby West Texas A&M University and her first job in the tourism industry was as an intern at the council. Stokes shared with us her love of her hometown.

What is your favorite thing about marketing Amarillo?


Texas is bursting with history.  Ever  wonder how the authenticity and legacy of those landmarks are maintained and upheld for everyone to enjoy? It’s thanks to individuals like Pamela Jary Rosser, Alamo conservator. A ninth generation Texan, Rosser was born in San Antonio and has a degree in fine arts and art history. She studied conservation in Italy with a team that worked on the Sistine Chapel, as well as Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose. Rosser was kind enough to share her passion for history with us.


Built at the turn of the 20th century, Mattie’s at Green Pastures was once the estate of Henry and Martha “Mattie” Miner Faulk. In 1946, Faulk’s daughter Mary and Mary’s husband Chester Koock opened the fine dining restaurant Green Pastures at the address, and over the years, they hosted lavish parties and grand occasions for celebrities, governors and visiting dignitaries. Mary Koock also catered many parties at the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch.