Editorial Board   

Mr. Meister

Kurt Meister

Senior Vice President , Distinguished Programs


As senior vice president of national sales and business development, Kurt Meister leads Distinguished Programs' sales, service, outreach and marketing teams for the brokerage's specialty programs. These programs include the hotel, resort and casino all-lines program, the historic properties hotel program, real estate umbrella, restaurant umbrella, cultural institutions & museum umbrella, and the golf course/golf club/ city club umbrella. Mr. Meister applies his 30 years of experience in the insurance industry to cultivate and support a confident and resilient sales team capable of helping their clients grow their businesses.

Mr. Meister began his career at Distinguished Programs as vice president of real estate and hospitality in 2013, leading the organization's national sales team and spearheading the company's sales training & coaching programs. In this role he as also tasked with leading marketing strategies. Prior to joining Distinguished Programs, he served as National Specialty Underwriters' vice president of hospitality from 2006 to 2012. In this role, he was responsible for managing the hospitality, gaming and healthcare divisions while also leading a national team of empowered sales executives.

Working in the world of insurance was Mr. Meister's original career goal, joining the industry immediately after college. He began his professional insurance career with Aon in Chicago, going through the company's management training program. During his 18 years with Aon, he worked in Chicago, Philadelphia and later in Seattle. He managed different divisions, taking on advancing responsibilities and eventually was promoted to senior vice president.

Mr. Meister earned his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he was first introduced to insurance through a business internship for Aon Corporation. He attended Villanova University, studying business administration with a focus on marketing and corporate finance.

Mr. Meister can be contacted at 425-213-5125 or KMeister@distinguished.com

Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.