It’s challenging to be on the opening team of a new hotel under normal circumstances; even more so under our “new normal.” Mark McLaughlin, Director of Business Development at the brand new Sable at Navy Pier Chicago, and Sarah Becker, Complex Director of Sales at the also brand-new Hilton Garden Inn and Canopy by Hilton Chicago Central Loop join me in The Room Block to chat about how their hotel sales journeys have led them to their exciting new roles as sales leaders starting from scratch. Listen in to learn about your new favorite hotel hangouts in Chicago, and to catch up with two veteran hotel sales professionals who are using their skills and passions to build new hotels, and rebuild our industry.
Mark McLaughlin is originally from the Philadelphia area with his first job out of Penn State with DoubleTree National Sales, back when DoubleTree was its own company prior to the Hilton acquisition. Most of his career has been spent in downtown Chicago with the opening of theWit Chicago, A DoubleTree by Hilton in 2009 where he spent the next 11+ years.
Mark recently joined the team of Sable at Navy Pier in February 2021 to open Chicago’s newest hotel on the horizon and Navy Pier’s first and only hotel as well as Hilton’s 100th Curio Hotel. Interestingly both theWit and Sable were designed by the award winning architect, Jackie Koo, who also designed one of Sable’s amazing outlets, Offshore Rooftop & Bar, the world’s largest rooftop bar in the Guinness Book of World Records!
Sarah Becker has been in the hospitality industry for the past 19 years; the majority of her time has been spent in the downtown Chicago market in a sales and marketing capacity. Her experience spans over 10 different brands and across all segments of sales and events. She joined Aimbridge Hospitality this past April as the Complex Director of Sales for the new Hilton Garden Inn and Canopy by Hilton Chicago Central Loop. Both Hotels are scheduled to open late this summer.
Sarah is an active member of the Chicago Chapter of the Global Business Travel Association and enjoys spending time with her family, adventuring, photography, anything DIY, traveling and the art of fundraising. In the words of Conrad Hilton, she too believes, “To accomplish big things, I am convinced you must first dream big dreams”.