At Bellmont Partners, we know and value the importance of working together as a team, and in using our talents to give back to the community – and we love it when our clients do the same!
Celebrating its 10th anniversary earlier this year, Radisson Blu Mall of America may be best known for its location next to the mall, but more than that, it has quickly become one of the Twin Cities top destinations for both visitors and meetings and events, thanks to its incredibly dedicated team and focus on giving back to the local community.
While there certainly have been ups and downs in the hospitality industry over the past several years, this commitment to the team and giving back has never wavered. We recently sat down with Kate Anastasi, director of sales & marketing at Radisson Blu Mall of America, to learn more about why putting people first is so important in business.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us during the busy back-to-school season! To start, can you tell us about what you do in your role as director of sales & marketing at Radisson Blu Mall of America?
I would say coordinating controlled chaos! Working in an environment that is open 24/7, 365-days a year, you never know what your day will look like. As the director of sales & marketing, the majority of my day is taken up with contracts, revenue and supporting the team. No day, no guest and no client is the same, and our priority is to always provide an unforgettable experience. I am so lucky to work with an amazing team!
You have been at the hotel for nine years. Why do you love working at Radisson Blu MOA?
I joke that I bleed Blu! My team is first and foremost what I enjoy the most. We truly have the best of the best in our hotel. Plus, I love the people I get to meet as part of my job.
What’s a favorite memory from your time working at Radisson Blu MOA?
There are so many things that come to mind when I think of my memories here at the hotel. I think my favorite memories come from the all-associate parties I have planned. There is something about taking my normal day job and turning it into a real event that I get to enjoy and where I get to watch the joy on all the hotel employees’ faces – that really makes this annual party special!
It’s no secret the last few years have been a rollercoaster for the hospitality industry. How have you and the team overcome adversity to find ways to thrive throughout it all?
It really has been a rollercoaster. For me it goes back to the people. We went from a staff of 300-plus to a staff of only 20 in the dark days of COVID. We truly bonded, never admitted defeat and rebuilt the team and business together. I know that my team focused on how we can do this together. We worked one-on-one with all our clients and formed partnerships that will last instead of worrying about the bottom line. It truly has paid off in the long run. Plus, we were able to rebuild our team with that same mentality. It hasn’t been easy, or even fun all the time, but looking back on the challenging times, we really did prevail. It’s something to be proud of.
Your location at Mall of America is a unique differentiator among competitors. How do you maximize that and the other things that set you apart from the crowd?
We lean into our amazing partnership with MOA. We do everything and anything we can to support the mall – and people know that! Our “Yes, I Can!” attitude allows us to think from a partnership standpoint, which ultimately translates into revenue. A happy guest will pay more, spend more and stay more than a guest who had an average experience!
This year marked the 10-year anniversary for Radisson Blu Mall of America. How are you celebrating?
10 years of Blu has been our theme of 2023. We decided this year to celebrate by doubling down on giving back. The community has been so supportive of us, so it’s our turn to give back. We have launched multiple different partnerships and community giving campaigns. We are hosting families each weekend that have children with critical illnesses, as well as families that are fostering or adopting children. We have menu items at our on-site restaurant, FireLake Grill House and Cocktail Bar, that are generating money for food insecurity and adding menu items on our banquet menu that allow groups to give food back to shelters and families in the local area. The whole hotel team provided input to determine what causes are important to those who are part of Blu. We are excited to see where these new partnerships will take us in years to come!
Why is it important to be involved in the community and give back?
It’s simple to me – we are all a part of the community. As humans we are built for community. It’s only natural that we lean into who we naturally are built for. Also, let’s be honest – the smiles and pure joy you see on people’s faces is worth all of the hard work!
Recently you were honored at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business awards – congratulations! What advice do you have to for people who are looking to lead at work while also prioritizing their home and family life?
Oh, well if that isn’t a million-dollar question! If you can find out how to do this successfully, please let me know!
But in all seriousness – someone said to me once that you are replaceable at any job, but you are not replaceable at home. That really stuck with me. I have learned that while I have turned my passion into a paycheck, I am the only person that can control my work-life balance. I am a better mom because I work hard – but I am also a better leader when I take time to be a mom, friend, daughter and wife. I don’t think there is a true recipe for how to make this work. It’s something where each person needs to figure out what works for them. But knowing that you are the one in control of how you balance your life will go a long way!
What’s brewing with you these days?
My days are consumed with sports for my kiddos, lake time with my best friends and family, and a house remodel with my husband. This year I am proud to say that I have read 35 books (that is 34 more books than I ready in 2020, 2021 and 2022 combined). My goal is to read 60 books this year. My favorite moment of each week is Saturday morning, before anyone else in my house wakes up. Cold press coffee + Adirondack chair + front porch + book = pure joy!