Show and Tell (No. 11)

Hotel Stories: Behind the Scenes

Date: Thursday, April 20, 2017

Time: Stories begin at 7 PM / Bar opens at 5 PM for happy hour

Location: Roger Smith Hotel, 501 Lexington Avenue at 47th Street

This event is free and open to the public

Click here to RSVP to Danika Druttman or call (212) 339-2092

On this intimate evening, five carefully curated storytellers are invited to
 present an object that has an extraordinary personal story attached to it. The selected participants hail from a broad spectrum of professional disciplines, and their chosen objects represent equally diverse fields of interests and experiences.


Manya duHoffmann

Director of Sales & Marketing, Refinery Hotel

Manya duHoffmann has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, currently working at one of the premier luxury boutique hotels in New York, the Refinery Hotel. She has a specialty in independent boutique hotels and led the sales efforts for the pre-opening at Refinery Hotel as well has 5 other properties; Thompson LES, Ace Hotel, NYC and the Ace Hotel, Palm Springs; The NoMad Hotel, NYC; and the Standard Hotel, Downtown LA. Prior to her boutique experience her focus was Caribbean Resorts developing sales for Four Seasons Resort, Nevis; Jumby Bay, Anguilla and CuisinArt Resort & Spa, Anguilla.

Greg Kooser

CEO & Founder, House of Kooser

The eponymous founder of House of Kooser is a leading innovator in hospitality marketing. In an era of downsizing and consolidation, Greg has created a proven formula for success: grassroots sales and marketing. The strength of the company comes from one-on-one relationships cultivated over the past 14 years in the corporate, entertainment and high-leisure markets. Greg started in the business as Director of East Coast Sales for California-based Kerry Hotels. Now, working throughout North America, Europe and Australia, he has the power to get hoteliers in the door with the leading decision makers, resulting in a superb international portfolio. The consummate host, Greg loves to put on a good show, and is always whipping up creative, unforgettable ways to entertain his guests.

Esther Barbosa

Area Director of sales, Interstate Hotels

Esther has over 15 years of travel industry experience, with sales management positions in both the hotel and airline industry. As an International Account Manager with United Airlines, Esther managed a NYC Japanese market territory, handling corporate; wholesale; and travel agencies. Her experience served her well in her transition to the hotel industry. Esther has managed corporate transient and group markets, as well as, overseeing wholesale contracting. Esther had been with Highgate Hotels for nearly 12 years; and recently joined Interstate Hotels as the Area Director of Sales representing the Hilton Fashion District and Hilton Garden Inn W35th Street hotels in NYC. Esther has a Bachelor’s Degree in Latin American Studies from Carleton College and a Master’s Degree in International Development from Nagoya University.

Joanne DeSantis

National Sales Manager, Carmines

Joanne was introduced to the hospitality industry at Helmsley Hotels and the Waldorf Astoria. Yet, she made her career in sales and marketing within the restaurant sector. She has been Director of Group Sales of high volume restaurant operations such as Tavern on the Green, World Yacht Dining Cruises, The Rainbow Room and Windows on the World. Currently, Joanne is the National Sales Manager of CARMINE’S with operations in NYC, Atlantic City, Washington DC and Las Vegas.

Richard Yaeger

President, Richard Yaeger the Hotel Source

Richard Yaeger is the president of Richard Yaeger The Hotel Source, a company dedicated to assisting smaller hotels conquer the wholesale FIT and Group market. Richard, a highly-respected NYC travel professional with experience in both Hotel Sales and Receptive Wholesale sales. Career highlights: Director of Sales and Marketing at The Holiday Inn Wall Street District, Director of Group Sales at The Manhattan Times Square Hotel, as well as the DOS & M who re-branded the Inn on 57th Street to the Holiday Inn Midtown 57th Street and The Milford Plaza’s Director of International Sales. Richard was Director of Sales at CTN Tours for over 8 years. These experiences working on both the hotel and wholesale sides of the hospitality industry give Richard a unique and complete understanding of what hotels and their client partners require for success.  Richard is a member of the HSMAI Greater New York Chapter on their Board of Directors.

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