Talking with Erik Grazetti for a few minutes, one realizes that he is in his element as Loews Chicago Hotel's director of sales and marketingand that he loves it.
Grazetti was in the Washington, D.C., area for 25 years, moving to Chicago in 2011 when he was with a different hotel company. ( He's originally from a small town in Pennsylvania. ) "When I went to Montgomery College [in Rockville, Maryland], I had already been working at a community college for a couple yearsand decided that was what I wanted to do.
"You learn so much about the industry [on the job]and [a lot] of it is about understanding people," Grazetti said. "If you learn that quickly and be empathetic to people, you can become very successful in this business."
Moving to Chicago was a big decision for Grazettiin part, because of his husband. "He's an interior designer, so he desperately wanted me to choose New Yorkand I love, love, love Chicago," Grazetti said. "I brought him here for a tour of the city in February, so it was snowy, icy and coldand he wanted to move [here], which was a big surprise to me."
Grazetti's role ( which involves everything from attending multiple meetings to overseeing photo shootspossibly in one day ) is one that has shifted over the years, he said: "My role traditionally had an individual overlooking the sales and marketing [efforts], but Loews is starting to change that. Now, my role is about 90-percent marketing; I get involved in sales when I need to. I have a director of sales who works for me."
Asked what the best and worst aspects of his job are, Grazetti said they're both related to variance: "I love that every day is different, because you are dealing with people. You never know how things are going to go. However, because of that chaotic nature, it can be difficult to meet a hard deadlinebut that's fine, because I get bored so easily."
- Age: 47
- Relationship: Married to Ian, an interior designer
- Job title: Director of sales and marketing, Loews Chicago Hotel
- Favorite snack: Backyard Barbeque Kettle Brand potato chips
- Neighborhood: Boystown
- Hobby : Cooking ( "I'll go to a restaurant, then go home and try to re-create a dish." )
- Favorite restaurant: PR Italian Bistro and Balena
- Personal mantra: "Nothing is that serious."