If there’s one city that’s known throughout the world as the place for big, splashy hotels, it’s Las Vegas. Born and raised there, Michelle Olewinski believes hospitality is simply ‘in her blood.’ She thrives on the diversity and different departments within a hotel, all working together in the service of the guest experience.
Her love of meeting new people and building personal relationships fueled her desire to work in sales. Based in Chicago, Olewinski is CoralTree Hospitality’s Global Sales Director with a focus on the Midwest market. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and began her career in guest services at the Mirage Hotel on the famous strip.
Her most memorable moment from this job was when the computer system used for checking in guests went down for several days. “Manually checking in more than 3,000 rooms was insane. Cocktail waitresses just walked around the lobby handing out free drinks to the hundreds of guests waiting.”
Olewinski then spent several years in Southern California working for different hotels, including Surf and Sand Resort and Rancho Bernardo Inn, ultimately becoming a Sales Manager and regularly exceeding her sales goals with her tenacity and relationship-building skills. “Having also lived in a few different places makes it exciting to figure out connections when talking to someone new.”
She moved to Minneapolis, then Chicago, where she worked for the Ritz-Carlton and Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile. Next, she joined Fairmont Austin as a Senior Sales Manager and then was promoted to Director of National Accounts. And in all of these positions, Olewinski can always find something she is proud of. “I have been so blessed in my career, whether it’s been meeting former U.S. Presidents, being a top producer within a company, or how I handled the challenge of being one of only a few employees kept on during the pandemic. I believe personal growth within your career is as important as professional growth.”
Olewinski believes that travel gives a glimpse into experiencing different cultures, food and meeting new people. “It ignites a passion within that stays with you beyond the actual trip. I think that can change you.” Her favorite travel experience came in the form of a road trip around Ireland. “I’m from a large, Irish-Catholic family, and 29 of us traveled around for two weeks with our own bus and a driver. It was so amazing being with family and learning more about my heritage.”