One More Word with Sherry Romello

If you take a look at last month’s entry, Sherry Romello shared with us some insight on her career in the hospitality industry.  Here she shares insight into how education background

Where did you attend college?

sherry-romelloI received a scholarship to go to a one year business vocational school while I was in High School (1985) – the Dorthea B. Lane School (it was a secretarial school in Alexandria, VA that has sense gone out of business). At the time, I couldn’t afford to pay for college so I needed to get to a full-time job as quickly as possible. So I went to the Dorthea B. Lane School for a year and then went to work as an administrative assistant for the Segal Company in Washington DC. Once I could afford it, I started taking classes at Northern Virginia Community College with the ultimate goal of getting a four year degree. In March of 2000, I received a Bachelor of Science from the College of Business and Management at National Lewis University’s Northern Virginia campus.

What did you study and why?

During the entire time that I was taking classes, I was working and building a career as a meeting planner. My goal was to get A degree, knowing that not having one would one day prevent me from even being considering for promotions. I pursued a business focus because I thought that most closely fit with where I was headed and was generic enough for me to use in many different ways. At the end of the day, it was just about getting a degree.

More with Sherry Romello

sherry romello
Sherry Romello

Last month, Sherry Romello of Hilton Worldwide shared some insight as a professional in the hospitality industry.  Here Sherry shares a bit more about herself and how she got to this industry in the first place.

You’ve worked on advisory boards in Atlanta and Baltimore, can you go into a bit of detail of what you did and what it served for?

In my role as a meeting planner for some significant events in the industry, cities and hotels would often invite planners to serve on an advisory board for a two-three year period to help them better understand customer needs and adapt their business. In some cases, cities or hotels were exploring new initiatives and they wanted a group of customers to help them validate their direction. I served on the Hilton Advisory Board back in the late 90’s and then for Baltimore and Atlanta more recently.

What is the fondest memory of your career?

Wow! There are so many and yet for all those years, so few. Opening day of the NACS Show in 2005 in Las Vegas! The NACS Show is a 25,000 person event bringing together exhibitors who provide products to Convenience Stores and attendees who own/manage/run convenience stores. Our 2005 event was scheduled to be in New Orleans in mid-October and as you may recall, Hurricane Katrina showed up around Labor Day – six weeks prior to our event. We sprung into action and found dates in Las Vegas in mid-November and we literally moved this large event – exhibits, changed signage, hotel rooms and a million other details that we took care of to deliver one of our best shows ever. When our attendees showed up, they were blown away that we were able to pull off such a feat. To this day, people marvel at how we were able to do that.

For more on Sherry Romello, visit her website at sherryromello.com.

A Brief Q & A with Sherry Romello, a Professional in the Hospitality Industry

Sherry Romello is the Senior Director of Hilton Meetings and Product Management.  With roughly 20 years of experience in the event and meeting planning industry, Romello was at the forefront of the inception of the birth of the industry.  Romello offers some insight on her career to date in a brief Q and A.

You mention the industry of career event planning did not really exist coming out of college and that you kind of fell into it, was there a defining moment in life where you thought this could be something special and something I could do for a career?

In my various administrative roles early-on, I planned a lot of holiday parties and picnics and really discovered I loved to plan things and create events. It wasn’t until the early 90’s when I took my first association job that I got the bug for meeting planner and saw that it could become a career path for me. I was the Administrative Assistant for the President of the American Waterways Operators and was promoted to the Event Planning and Membership Coordinator. As far as a defining moment, that probably occurred in my next job at the National Association of Chemical Distributors. I didn’t know if I had what it took to actually get hired as a meeting planner vs. being an administrative assistant that planned meetings, but this job was my first step down the career path.

What was the process to getting your CMP certification?

The Certified Meeting Professional designation that is administered by the Convention Industry Council. I think the guidelines have evolved since I received by designation back in 2002, but when I applied, you had to apply and have a certain number of points that were earned by experience, memberships, publications to even be eligible to sit for the exam, then you had to take an exam that was a 2 hour exam with an extensive list of questions regarding different aspects of the industry – food & beverage, audio visual, contracts, international meetings – to test your knowledge.

Check back soon for more with Sherry Romello or check out her homepage at sherryromello.com.