Connections Housing Partner Spotlight: Crystal Chism, Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin & Swan Reserve
Connections Housing Partner Spotlight is a new series that shines a light on the incredible leaders we have the privilege to work with across the event and hospitality industry.
This month we're excited to talk to Crystal Chism, Senior Sales Executive, Pharmaceutical & NE, Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin & Swan Reserve
Where’s Your Hometown?
How Did You Get Your Start in Your Career?
I actually wanted to be a nurse, but during an internship, I passed out at every turn. I went to college with an undeclared major and took a part-time job at a hotel and absolutely fell in love. Hotels for me turned out to be “hospitals for well people” and enabled me the opportunity to be able to take care of people after all.
What Attracted You to the Hotel Industry?
I love interacting with people, creating experiences and knowing we never have the same day twice!
Fun Fact—Something That People Do Not Know About You?
I love to make pie…and my Tic-Tac Pie is famous for 40th birthday celebrations!
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing hotel/resorts right now and how is the Swan & Dolphin addressing it?
True recovery for the hospitality industry can only happen when people find a comfort level to travel and meet again.
As guests and groups start to come back, are you hearing
feedback about specific hotel initiatives and/or health/safety protocols that are especially positive/that groups/guests really seem to like?
These events were creatively themed with food and beverage pairings that received absolute rave reviews. The smaller, more intimate stage for these events are likely here to stay, even when we can get back to our standard practices.
Outdoor space is also very popular right now as well, and the Swan & Dolphin certainly has that covered with the various locations surrounding Crescent Lake, Sand Beach, Grotto Pool and the poolside Cabana Bar & Grill.
It seems that events/meetings are starting to feel increasingly
confident about hosting live events in Q3 and Q4 of 2021 and, of course, on
into 2022. Does that reflect what you’re seeing? Or are you already
seeing meeting planning activity pick-up for certain properties/geographic
and/or demographic groups?
We are opening a brand new tower in Summer 2021 (The Swan Reserve) and are grateful for the additional inventory to help us fill demand. That, along with our cross-sell with other Marriott International or Disney properties, will help us accommodate our clients.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the hospitality/hotel industry?My first General Manager told me 30 years ago to “do this job as though you will do it for free, and eventually you will be paid what you are worth.”
To add to his message, I also believe that being a person others want to work with brings meaning not just to your job but to your life. We should always conduct ourselves with integrity. Business is earned through trust.
It’s a big world but this industry is small and your reputation as a good person means something here. Keep growing in a positive light. There is so much you can do in this industry!
To learn more about the award-winning Walkt Disney World Swan, Walt Disney World Dolphin and Walt Disney world Swan Reserve, visit the website here.