JJ Abuelhawa, Director of Business Transient Sales
Hyatt Centric Arlington
Why are you an HSMAI member?
The two most important reasons I value being an HSMAI member are one the content of the programs and two the opportunity to network with experts in my field. I have met some amazing mentors by regularly attending my HSMAI chapter meetings. I remember the first meet up that I attended I was being shy but I was quickly brought out of my shell by the warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere. I could talk for hours about the ROI of the content covered. I will sum up my experience by saying that I learn something new every time I attend!
Why do you volunteer for HSMAI?
Simply, I desire to surround myself with people who reflect who I want to be. Positive, driven people who will push me towards greatness and out of any comfort zone I fall into.
What has been most rewarding for you in HSMAI?
Most recently, I had a big win from utilizing tools I gained from attending the February 2lst Star Performance prospecting seminar with Bob Anderson. As well, I will mention my favorite meet up is the annual State of the Industry event as it really helps me get ready for RFP season and any budget conversations/reports needed.
What would you tell someone who is on the fence about becoming an HSMAI member, or if they are already a member and on the fence about volunteering?
New members - I have participated in other organizations were I did not feel it was worth my time. I understand your pessimism about the ROI if you have had similar experiences to mine with other organizations. My advice is to attend this year's State of the Industry event and then judge if you think there is ROI. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Volunteering - I will use the quote "one of the greatest gifts you can give is your time." Only good can come from volunteering...so how could you say no to that?!
A huge THANK YOU, JJ, for making sure our program registrations run smoothly each month!
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