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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.