NEAWP Member Spotlight: Veronica Lee

NEAWP Member Spotlight

 What is your name? Veronica Lee

What is your company’s name? Hotels for Hope

Any special meaning to the name? The name of our company is what we do. Book Rooms. Change Lives. Since April of 2010, we have donated over $280K which benefits our charity partners who help children live better and healthier lives.

How many years have you been in business? I’ve been with Hotels for Hope since 2011.  I was also in the hotel industry for 6 years. My last hotel was at the Lakeway Resort where I was the Director of Catering & Conference Services.

What type of services do you offer? Hotels for Hope is a Hotel site selection company. We basically help our clients find the right hotel that fits their needs and budget. We will put together RFPs to send out to the hotels so that we can offer our clients hotel options to choose from as well as negotiate the contracts. Our services are at NO COST to our clients. Why spend precious time playing phone tag with hotels trying to get rates when I can do that for you and save time for FREE?

Our clients are not just wedding parties. They are associations, non-profits, corporations, large conventions, etc. We can book hotel rooms anywhere around the world!

What brought you to Central Texas? I was born and raised in Houston. I came to Austin to go to UT. Like many of us here, we loved Austin so much that I stayed!

What attracted you most to the field you are in? Any special skills that help you excel? I have always been resourceful, a multi-tasker, and a problem solver. I started my career in the Hotel industry as a catering assistant, moved my way up to a Catering Sales & Conference Planning Manager, and then a Director of Catering & Conference Planning. All of these position require fine tuning all of those skills mentioned earlier. After leaving the hotel industry, I became a realtor®. I am still a realtor®.. I think working with Hotels for Hope is a great combination of both! At Hotels for Hope, it’s kind of like being a realtor® for Hotels.

What is your style? Do you have specialties? I am pretty straight forward. I don’t sugar coat things too much. I feel as though my clients appreciate that more.

I try to make things as simple as possible for my clients as well. There is enough for them to deal with in regards to a wedding.  I try to make the hotel part the least of their worries.

What sets you apart from your competition? There’s no other hotel site selection company out there who has charitable giving as such a big part of their business model. We are the only ones. Our company started with the question of how can we get the hotel industry to give and have an impact like Toms Shoes?

Every hotel that we work with MUST donation $1 for every room night the group consumes.  Hotels for Hope then matches that, so that a total of $2 per room night is donated. As mentioned before, since we began in April of 2010, we have donated over $280K. We have been able to do this only because of the support and referrals of our clients, their attendees, and our Hotel partners.

Please tell us a funny or interesting story from your days in the wedding industry. When one of my very good friend got married a while back, she asked me to help her on the day of to make sure all the details were handled. I of course said no problem. I can do this kind of thing in my sleep. I got a list of all of her vendors, asked her for a timeline, went to check out the hotel with her, etc. Then I find out later that she also would like me to MC the evening with one of their best guy friends.  So emceeing is not really my thing. I am totally a behind the scenes kind of girl to make sure everything is handled. That’s not the worst part… She then tells me that she asked me because she needed me to do it in Chinese and the guy will do it in English. OMG! Really? Since she had some family who didn’t speak English, I was the only one who could do it.  I was totally stressing over it. I can speak fluent Chinese, but it’s not good enough to MC a wedding!  I did it…. I don’t remember what I said or if I even said enough in Chinese. It was all a blur…

How do you like to spend your time while “off the clock”? When We just had a baby a year in a half ago, so when I am off, I am mom. It is definitely a different world from before. It’s all about what can we do for the first time with our baby now? What is she doing for the first time now? Can you tell she is our first child? My wife and I are definitely enjoying our time with her!

Name one thing that others might be surprised to know about you. I am a jack of all trades.  Before I joined Hotels for Hope, I was the Executive Director of the Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce and somewhere in between, I also had a Dim Sum Restaurant. I did say I was a multi-tasker, right?

It will be 15 years this summer since my wife and I have been together. We got married almost 6 years ago in the window of time when it was legal for us to get married in California.

Do you have a website or something similar that you would like to promote? Whether you need a block of hotel rooms for your next event or you need to buy/sell a home, I am your girl!

www.HotelsForHope.org

www.AustinRealEstateBuzz.com

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