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SMASHotels Names Key Members for Executive Team at Hotel EMC2 Opening May 2017

CHICAGO, IL. April 27, 2017 – Hotel EMC2, part of Autograph Collection Hotels, is thrilled to welcome its executive team ahead of its highly anticipated opening in May 2017. The boutique hotel is the first of its kind and will celebrate the convergence of art and science through its design, cuisine, and guest experience. The team of seasoned industry veterans has been thoughtfully selected to be a driving force in delivering on the brand’s promise of providing exactly like nothing else experiences for guests. The team includes: Christine Wechter, General Manager; Brandon Brumback, Executive Chef; Rebecca Royster, Director of Food and Beverage and Stefanie Rowe, Director of Sales and Marketing.

“I wanted to take the guest experience to the next level by engaging a talented team that shares my vision of building a high-end, non-traditional travel destination that feeds the creative spirit and empowers the mind,” says Scott Greenberg, president & CEO, SMASHotels and founder, Hotel EMC2. “Together with Autograph Collection Hotels, we will bring the distinct elements of this one-of-a-kind hotel to life while fostering a stimulating environment for both guests and team members.”

“We’ve taken an unconventional approach to hiring by curating a team of energetic individuals who are not only professionally qualified, but encapsulate the whimsical and creative spirit of the hotel,” says Christine Wechter, general manager, Hotel EMC2. “Everyone brings a unique aspect of art and science to the hotel. Our team members have studied a range of subject matters, including: neuroscience; architecture and design; engineering; dance and music; and everything in between. I am ecstatic to work alongside these talented individuals as we move toward the opening of Hotel EMC2 later this spring.”

To further showcase the hotel’s devotion to science and innovation, two three-foot tall robots – named Leo and Cleo – will join the team upon opening. Referred to as the Senior Transport Ninjas, the Savioke manufactured team members will independently journey from floor to floor via the hotel elevator, delivering room service items to guests.

Christine Wechter, General Manager At the helm of Hotel EMC2’s executive team is Christine Wechter, who will serve as general manager and play an integral role in delivering standout guest experiences that celebrate the convergence of art and science. In this role, Wechter will direct and oversee the day-to-day operations of the boutique hotel, which includes high-end accommodations and amenities; meetings and events; and distinct culinary offerings.

During her 20-year career, Wechter has served in directorial and operational roles across the industry, including within Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where she built tight-knit teams, provided unprecedented associate satisfaction, improved stakeholder fiscal results, and applied innovative guest personalization. In her most recent role with Starwood, Wechter and her team were awarded “2015 Hotel of the Year” by the brand in the North American East region.

Brandon Brumback, Executive Chef As executive chef, Brandon Brumback will be responsible for the development and creation of all culinary programs for Hotel EMC2 and the Albert, the hotel’s 120-seat contemporary American restaurant. Brumback has worked in the elite kitchens of Napa Valley’s Bouchon Bistro and The French Laundry, as well as acclaimed Chicago restaurants Blackbird, Ria and Grace. Over the past several years, Brumback has been an influential player at various Chicago dining institutions, including the two Michelin-starred restaurants Acadia and Danny Meyer’s GreenRiver (under the prestigious Union Square Hospitality Group).

Rebecca Royster, Director of Food and Beverage Rebecca Royster will serve as the director of food and beverage of Hotel EMC2 and the Albert. Prior to joining Hotel EMC2, Royster worked with Hogsalt Hospitality, where she provided her creativity and curiosity to the bar and management teams at some of the group’s most popular restaurant concepts in Chicago, including: Gilt Bar, Au Cheval, Dillman’s Delicatessen, Cocello, and most recently Maude's Liquor Bar, where she was general manager and beverage director.

Stefanie Rowe, Director of Sales and Marketing Stefanie Rowe joins the team as director of sales and marketing, where she will be responsible for establishing strategic partnerships, working with the management team to achieve overall revenue goals, and building awareness of the property. Rowe brings more than 12 years of hospitality experience to her role, including an eight-year tenure at Marriott International. Most recently, Rowe served as director of sales and marketing at Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile.

Hotel EMC2 is situated in the heart of the famed Magnificent Mile Shopping District within the vibrant Streeterville neighborhood and is pedestrian-friendly to Chicago’s greatest attractions, shopping and dining. For further information about Hotel EMC2, visit: www.hotelemc2.com, and for more information about Autograph Collection Hotels, visit: www.autographhotels.com

About Hotel EMC2

Hotel EMC2, boasting 195 beautifully designed rooms and almost 2,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, is set to open its doors in spring 2017. A hotel that embodies imagination, inspiration and innovation, it captures the creative spirit: the essential, energetic ingredient that has led to the scientific understanding of the universe and that acts as the bedrock to artistic expression. Hotel EMC2 strives to activate the mind through modern, upscale amenities, a restorative yet stimulating atmosphere and sumptuous, seasonal cuisine to enrich the soul, allowing guests to feel right at home. This one-of-a-kind, boutique hotel is situated in the heart of the famed Magnificent Mile Shopping District within the vibrant Streeterville neighborhood and is pedestrian-friendly to Chicago’s greatest attractions, shopping and dining. A luxurious urban refuge, Hotel EMC2 is dedicated to providing an artistic and creative experience, where we lodge those that carry a pencil, a paintbrush or a dream.

About Autograph Collection Hotels

Autograph Collection Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., celebrates individuality by curating one-of-a-kind travel experiences at more than 100 luxury lifestyle hotels in nearly 30 countries and territories, among the world’s most desirable destinations. Exactly like nothing else, Autograph Collection properties are hand selected for their rich character and uncommon details. A personal realization of an individual founder’s vision, these hotels are defined by unique design, differentiated guest experiences and their meaningful role in locality. For more information, please visit www.autographhotels.com.

Contact:
Joanna Meagher
jmeagher@hensonconsulting.com
+ 1.312.374.8570

Coming Up In The August Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Food & Beverage: Multiplicity and Diversity are Key
The challenge for hotel food and beverage operations is to serve the personal tastes and needs of an increasingly diverse population and, at the same time, to keep up with ever-evolving industry trends. In order to accomplish this, restaurateurs and hoteliers have to flex their creative muscles and pull out all the stops to satisfy their various audiences. One way to achieve this is to utilize existing food spaces in multiple ways at different times of the day. Lunch can be casual and fast, while dinnertime can be more formal and slower paced. The same restaurant can offer counter service by day but provide table service by night, with a completely different menu and atmosphere. Changes in music, lighting, uniforms and tabletop design contribute to its transformation. This multi- purpose approach seeks to meet the dining needs of guests as they change throughout the day. Today’s restaurants also have to go to great lengths to fulfill all the diverse dietary preferences of their guests. The popularity of plant-based, paleo, vegan, and gluten and allergen-free diets means that traditional menus must evolve from protein-heavy, carb-loaded offerings to those featuring more vegetables and legumes. Chefs are doing creative things with vegetables, such as experimenting with global cuisines or incorporating new vegetable hybrids into their dishes. Another trend is an emphasis on bold and creative flavors. From chili oil to sriracha to spicy maple syrup, entrees, desserts and beverages are all being enhanced with spice and heat. 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.