Written by Tawana Bain | Photo submitted by Celena Clemons
For Celena Clemons, going the extra mile comes naturally. She’s the Dual Director of Sales for two bustling Schulte Hospitality properties; the Holiday Inn near the airport and Hawthorne Suites. As part of her job at the Louisville based company, she handles group and corporate contracts. She’s involved with every facet of the experience for out-of-town guests, and that goes well beyond just getting a good night’s sleep. Celena ensures they’re given all kinds of information and advice about the fun, interesting and unique attractions that Kentuckiana has to offer.
“It’s everything from schools to corporations to sports teams,” says Celena. “I really enjoy helping them to find things to do while they’re here. The most rewarding aspect is building relationships with people from all over and being a part of their trip and experience.”
Celena started in the hospitality business back in 2014 and found that she was inspired by the people she would meet as they came to town for many different reasons. “I worked the front desk,” she recalls. “The job description was mainly just checking people in, but I found that hearing about people and their experiences made me want to be a bigger part of their visits.”
She took a break from the business for a while, but when she came back in 2017, she wanted a larger role. She moved into housekeeping operations, then into sales – learning all the moving parts of the hospitality business before applying her aptitude and personal touch to what she does now. “I learned a lot about selling the city,” Celena says. “It’s not just booking rooms and making reservations; it’s about connecting with people on an individual level. There are many hotels to choose from, so in what I do is about showing that you’re an asset. To help facilitate what guests may need from a business standpoint, but also help them to have fun. The key to what I do is in being personable. I answer a lot of questions, but it’s really all about connecting. Getting out and meeting people face to face, not just via email. That’s what makes the difference.”