Appointments & Promotions

JQH Promotes Amanda Cushing to Director of Sales at Bloomington-Normal Marriott in Illinois

NORMAL, IL. & SPRINGFIELD, MO. July 13, 2017 - John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts (JQH) today announced that Amanda Cushing has been promoted to director of sales at the company’s Bloomington–Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Illinois. Cushing has worked at the TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame hotel for eight years and most recently served as director of event sales. She will oversee the sales and marketing team at the 228-room/suite Bloomington–Normal Marriott, which is owned and operated by Springfield, Missouri-based JQH under license from Marriott International, Inc. or one of its affiliates. JQH is a leading private, independent owner and manager of hotels in the United States, including operating more than 1 million square feet of superb meeting space.

“Amanda has excelled at strategically growing revenue throughout her successful career at the hotel. We anticipate her continuing to be a strong achiever, as she leverages her close ties with the community and hotel teams,” said John Sabbagh, general manager of the Bloomington–Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

In addition to serving as director of event sales at JQH’s AAA Four Diamond Bloomington–Normal Marriott, Cushing has also worked as sales manager and catering manager at the contemporary property located in Uptown Normal. In her various roles, she has had the opportunity to lead, train and mentor staff; solicit, negotiate and generate contracted revenues; communicate with clients; and collaborate with all hotel departments. Cushing graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in mass communications with a minor in agriculture from Illinois State University in Normal. She is a Certified Hospitality Sales Professional through the American Hotel & Lodging Association and also a member of the Bloomington–Normal Hotel and Lodging Association. She was designated a Stars of the Industry nominee by the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association. Cushing works closely with events benefiting Red Cross, YWCA and Boys & Girls Club. She is also a member of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and of the Uptown Partners, a business partnership in Normal.

“I have great appreciation for the supportive environment at JQH in which creative thinking is encouraged and associates’ professional success is fostered,” Cushing said. “I look forward to continuing to work together with internal and external teams to drive demand for our premier destination for superb hospitality in the Midwest.”

About Bloomington–Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

Situated in Uptown Normal, the 228-room/suite Bloomington–Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center provides easy access to Children’s Discovery Museum, Normal Theater, Shoppes at College Hills, and Illinois State University. The AAA Four Diamond hotel is a recipient of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame status for consistently earning outstanding traveler reviews for five consecutive years. The stylish hotel’s spacious accommodations boast pillow top beds, custom duvets, flat-panel TVs, high-speed Wi-Fi and ergonomic workstations. Guests can also enjoy a well-equipped fitness center, a saltwater indoor pool and a whirlpool. The on-site restaurant, Jesse’s Grille, offers delicious, eclectic dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. For a quick snack and Starbucks® beverages, stop by Caffeina’s Café. The nine-story property also features more than 24,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including 15 event rooms. Electric vehicle charging stations are available complimentary. Located at 201 Broadway Avenue in Normal, the Bloomington–Normal Marriott can be reached at (309) 862-9000. Visit for more information or connect with the hotel at

About John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts

Springfield, Missouri-based John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts (JQH) is a leading private, independent owner and manager of hotels in the United States, representing brands such as: Marriott, Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Sheraton, IHG, Chateau on the Lake Resort / Spa & Convention Center, and Plaza Hotels Collection. With a portfolio of 35 hotels representing approximately 8,500 guest rooms/suites in 16 states, JQH’s properties are dominant in their markets. Founded on the extraordinary vision of John Q. Hammons and built on his continued legacy of excellence spanning more than 50 years, JQH has become one of the most recognized and award-winning companies in the hospitality industry. Built to be the best, JQH continues to set the standard in hospitality management and hotel development. Go to for more information, or connect with JQH on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Sheri D. Smith

Coming Up In The October Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data
Like most businesses, hotels are relying on technology and data to drive almost every area of their operations, but perhaps this is especially true for hotel Revenue Managers. There has been an explosion of technology tools which generate a mountain of data – all in an effort to generate profitable pricing strategies. It falls to Revenue Managers to determine which tools best support their operations and then to integrate them efficiently into their existing systems. Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Online Reputation Management software are basic tools; others include channel managers, benchmark reports, rate shopping tools and review systems, to name a few. The benefits of technology tools which automate large segments of a Revenue Manager’s business are enormous. Freed from the time-consuming process of manual data entry, and having more accurate data available, allows Revenue Managers to focus on analysis, strategies and longer-term decision-making. Still, for most hotels, the amount of data that these tools generate can be overwhelming and so another challenge is to figure out how to effectively utilize it. Not surprisingly, there are some new tech tools that can help to do exactly that. There are cloud-based analytics tools that provide a comprehensive overview of hotel data on powerful, intuitive dashboards. The goal is to generate a clear picture, at any moment in time, of where your hotel is at in terms of the essentials – from benchmarking to pricing to performance – bringing all the disparate streams of data into one collated dashboard. Another goal is to eliminate any data discrepancies between finance systems, PMS, CRM and forecasting systems. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address all these important developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.