What’s Brewing? Kate Anastasi of Radisson Blu Mall of America

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!

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