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.

Please visit http://www.distinguished.com for more information.

Mr. Meister can be contacted at +1 425-213-5125 or KMeister@distinguished.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.