Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Brock

Colby Brock

General Manager, The Radisson Hotel New Rochelle

Colby Brock obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in Psychology and English from the University of Hartford. She interned for the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle while attending college and began working there full-time in 1999 as restaurant manager. In 2008, while continuing to manage the City Lounge at the Radisson, Ms. Brock pursued a degree in Interior Design form Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. She then joined as a designer for Mojo Stumer Associates, an architectural design firm. One of the projects she worked on was the re-design of the Radisson's lobby. In 2011, Ms. Brock returned to the Radisson as the Food and Beverage Director, Interior Designer/Project Manager, with responsibility for overseeing the $2 million renovation program to re-position the hotel as a stylish, contemporary, Manhattan boutique hotel. The scope of the project included upgrades of all 129 guest rooms, the lobby, elevators, hospitality suites and the re-branding of its restaurant which opened on May 15, 2012 as NoMa Social. Everything about the new dining destination reflects Ms. Brock's design sensibility and understanding of the vital role that F&B plays in enhancing the hotel experience of today's sophisticated traveler. To help make NoMa Social feel like a second home for visitors, a 'library decor' was created, one that is eclectic, with warm purple and gray colors, yet chic at the same time. The space includes numerous comfortable couches and low cocktail tables that can accommodate a variety of group sizes, as well as more traditional seating. The Mediterranean menu, created by acclaimed executive chef Bill Rosenberg, offers tapas and other small plates that can be shared in surroundings that promote a relaxing and interactive dining experience. Ms. Brock's contributions to the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle's improvements were instrumental in the hotel winning a “Renovation Excellence Award” from the Radisson's parent company, Carlson, one of the world's largest hospitality and travel groups. Ms. Brock is also responsible for the hotel's floor management, staff training, corporate and social function contracts, menu and promotional creations as well as the hotel's public relations, marketing, promotion and advertising program. For the past 16 years, she has been a strong supporter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter where she is currently serving as a member of the Board of Trustees. She is married to Mario Gualano.

Ms. Brock can be contacted at 914-576-3700 or colby.brock@radisson.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.