San Francisco Marriott – Director of Event Planning
Chris began his career with the San Francisco Marriott as a Banquet Housekeeping Aide when the hotel opened in 1989. His hard work and consistent dedication to service led to a rapid progression to his current position. On September 11, 2001, his crisis management skills and leadership were evident to hotel and his East Coast-based client alike as the day’s tragic events began to unfold. He immediately had a Command Center in place to provide information and/or travel arrangements and had the Hertz Desk secure more cars for those wanting to drive home. He ensured everything was being done to put people at ease. Afterwards, Chris was asked to gather as many associates as possible, as the client wanted to publicly thank them. As Chris and the others walked into the ballroom, the client’s attendees began applauding and stood up singing, “God Bless America.” Chris is known as the one manager who can handle any situation with warmth, grace and humor. He regards any obstacle or challenge as an opportunity to excel. At the age of 18, when Chris was working on his degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management, he was diagnosed with a rare eye condition, Juvenile Macular Degeneration. Within four months, Chris had lost his eyesight. This is no way stopped him from pursuing and succeeding at his career. He has memorized the Marriott’s football-sized layout of meeting space, its sets and capacities, along with every hotel phone extension. Technology has assisted Chris with accessible equipment - an audio calculator, high-intensity magnifying projector, and an audio recorder which helps organize his daily priorities. With finesse, self-confidence and a passion for excellence, Chris’ daily challenges appear effortless to his customers, his staff of 16 and his co-workers. He has won every Marriott Award and has been named Convention Service Manager of the Year by two industry magazines. Chris and his wife are also very much involved with their children’s schools events and programs.