Kim Lowe, complex director of sales at the Woodland Resort and Hotels (part of CoralTree Hospitality) has worked her way through the company since 2007. Lowe has been named HSMAI’s 2021 on-property Sales Professional of the Year. She recently sat down with HSMAI to discuss her career path and what keeps her motivated after so long.
How did you get into hospitality sales?
My hospitality career began at a company which owns/manages golf and country clubs across the US. At the time I was the administrative assistant to the GM and when his salesperson had to take leave for a few months. I encouraged him to let me do it and that was my first sales role. There was a hotel down the street that a few of my colleagues moved on to work at, and they described the opportunity with such excitement that I soon joined as well.
How has your career progressed since then?
I was surrounded by incredible professionals who cared about my career and amazing role models like Gregg Harper, the Area GM of several of our properties now. Just being around positive energy changes the way you deal with people. Emotional intelligence is so important. He is the master of that management style.
Scott Span, VP, changed the trajectory of my career with opportunity as I moved into the role of director of sales at The Westin at The Woodlands. He gave me space to learn, grow and get it right. He has such a strong vision and I try to learn from every interaction with him.
I think my career progressed the way it did because I’ve had the opportunities from role models like Scott and Gregg who truly cared about me and my career, and such as Chris Kenney, with CoralTree Hospitality, who nominated me for this award. He has been an amazing mentor and guide. Being part of a team that cares about people is something not everyone gets to enjoy. I work with and for people who genuinely care about each other. I am so grateful and humbled by that.
What keeps you motivated after all these years?
My family and my team. My husband is my biggest cheerleader, his optimism and encouragement are propelling. And I think our kids benefit from seeing parents finding joy in their work. My hope for them is to find the same happiness and fulfillment in their own careers and provide for themselves, and our grandchildren, at the same time. I want them to see there are so many blessings in a career; it can make you a better person which makes you a better parent and a better spouse.
I simply love my sales, catering and conference service team. We have an unusual bond. It’s a rare amalgamation of strong character. The energy is so high, every day, and never-ending. They are a team of warriors who have every intention of success. They mean business. I love that type of gusto – its real life. It’s invigorating.
What was your experience like working through the pandemic?
Challenging times make us appreciate when opportunities are plentiful. A quote from my favorite author CS Lewis is, ‘Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.’ That pretty much sums up my pandemic work experience!
The pandemic taught us all how important face-to-face interaction is, with customers and employees alike, and especially for business. Relationships will be stronger moving forward, and a great positive in all this uncertainty is the realization that coming together in shared common interests and values is powerful.
What does this award mean to you?
I’m so excited! It’s such a blessing to be recognized. I have an incredible team of people who should get this award, they earn it every day – but I am so proud to represent them!
What do you do in your spare time outside of work?
My favorite pastime is spending time with family. We love to travel and try to get to Hawaii every other year and also try to get to Europe every few years. I have two children and two grandchildren. We all have busy careers so it’s difficult, but I am determined to make it happen regularly. I try to make the experience impactful and do something memorable that we can appreciate for a long time.