Appointments & Promotions

Waldorf Astoria Chicago and Conrad Chicago Announce New Roles for Five Senior Sales Managers

Renowned Luxury Hotels Merge Talent to Create Dynamic Sales Team

Chicago, IL - July 25, 2017 - Waldorf Astoria Chicago and Conrad Chicago are pleased to announce the appointment of five senior sales managers to lead the sales programs and initiatives at the two elite luxury properties. As part of the newly created roles, Blythe Shaver, Katie Lorenc, Rachel Clark, Rachel Levy, CMP, and Sarah Graff will work closely together to execute all aspects of the sales division for the 215-room Waldorf Astoria Chicago and the 287-room Conrad Chicago, both owned by hotelier Laurence Geller. The five senior sales managers will report directly to Gordon Taylor III, Director of Sales and Marketing of Waldorf Astoria Chicago and Conrad Chicago.

Blythe Shaver, Senior Sales Manager

Shaver brings a four-year tenure with Waldorf Astoria Chicago to her new role. Moving forward, she will focus on booking the Chicago suburbs and Midwest market for both Waldorf Astoria Chicago and Conrad Chicago. Shaver’s career in hospitality began with Hilton, where she took on roles as Catering Manager and Sales Manager of Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport and Hiltons of Chicago Complex, respectively. Most recently, she served as Senior Sales Manager of Embassy Suites Downtown Lakefront, the flagship property for the Embassy Suites brand.

Katie Lorenc, Senior Sales Manager

Lorenc joined Conrad Chicago as part of the pre-opening team in March 2016 as Senior Sales Manager. In her new dual role, Lorenc will be responsible for booking groups from the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Texas markets for both Waldorf Astoria Chicago and Conrad Chicago. Lorenc started her hospitality career in operations working for the Fairmont Chicago, where she developed her skills in multiple areas, including rooms, revenue management, and food and beverage. Prior to joining Conrad Chicago in 2016, Lorenc served as Group Sales Manager of The Langham Chicago.

Rachel Clark, Senior Sales Manager

Joining the team from Hilton Worldwide, Clark will play an integral role in the senior sales team, with a focus on sports bookings plus the West Coast and Western Canada market segments. Beginning her career with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in an operations capacity, Clark’s experience in the hotel industry spans over ten years and includes both group and business travel sales and conference services with Hyatt Hotels, Hilton Worldwide and internships with Starwood Hotel & Resorts.

Rachel Levy, CMP, Senior Sales Manager

Working closely with the senior sales team, Levy will focus on the Northeast U.S. and Eastern Canada territories and joins the team from Waldorf Astoria Chicago. A native Chicagoan, Levy’s experience in the hotel business spans over 12 years and includes both sales and conference services with Destination Hotels, InterContinental Hotels, and internships with Four Seasons Hotels and Starwood’s Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin. Additionally, Levy completed a nine-month assignment in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Sarah Graff, Senior Sales Manager

A Chicago-based hospitality professional since 2011, Graff joins the sales team from Conrad Chicago, where she worked closely with Lorenc to execute sales programs and initiatives for the hotel. Graff will be responsible for booking the downtown Chicago market for both hotels. Prior to this, Graff served as Group Sales Manager of AC Hotel Chicago Downtown, where she developed creative strategies to increase awareness and introduce the brand in the United States. Prior to this, Graff served as Sales Coordinator of Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, where she was part of the pre-opening team.

About Waldorf Astoria Chicago

The AAA Mobil Five Diamond Waldorf Astoria Chicago is a 60-story hotel and residence designed by architect Lucien Lagrange emulating the grand hotels of Paris in the 1920s and is located in the historic Gold Coast neighborhood adjacent to the most exclusive shops, restaurants, nightlife, recreation/beach, and businesses. Through innovations in service and technology, the 215-room hotel creates an energetic and fashion forward luxury experience complete with an award-winning 14,000 square-foot spa & health club; two French restaurants by Michelin Star Chef Michael Mina, Margeaux Brasserie and Petit Margeaux; along with 24-hour in-room dining; nearly 8,000 square feet of meeting, private dining, and event space inclusive of the cobblestone courtyard. To explore the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, please visit or call (312) 646-1300. Follow on social media at,,, and

About Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is a portfolio of 26 iconic properties in the world’s most sought after destinations. Unified by their inspirational environments and True Waldorf Service, Waldorf Astoria hotels deliver unparalleled, bespoke service from the moment a guest books through check out. Waldorf Astoria is a part of Hilton, a leading global hospitality company. Experience Waldorf Astoria by booking at Learn about the brand by visiting or following the brand on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

About Conrad Chicago

Conrad Chicago, the 20-story luxury hotel, is located at 101 E. Erie St. overlooking one of the most renowned shopping districts in the country, the Magnificent Mile. The hotel offers 287 guest rooms, including 24 suites; and 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, all featuring spectacular views of the city skyline and Michigan Avenue. Hotel amenities also include three distinct dining outlets in partnership with Richard Sandoval Restaurant: a ground floor Italian café Il Tavolino, the top floor American, bourbon-centric restaurant, Baptiste & Bottle, and Noyane, the seasonal rooftop restaurant. Conrad Chicago is now taking reservations on Learn more about the hotel by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Conrad Hotels & Resorts is the destination for the new generation of smart luxury travelers for whom life, business, and pleasure seamlessly intersect. Conrad offers its guests an innovative way to Stay Inspired through curated collections of 1-hour, 3-hour, or 5-hour experiences, available through Guests can manage their stay through the Conrad Concierge service in the Hilton Honors mobile app, getting access to pre check-in and room selection to ordering in room dining and mobile check-out, all from their own mobile device. Consisting of 30 properties across five continents, Conrad is part of Hilton, a leading global hospitality company. Connect with Conrad by booking at or through the Hilton Honors mobile app. Learn more about the brand by visiting and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@conradhotels).

About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 4,900 properties with over 800,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

For more information about Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts, please visit and or follow the brands on Twitter ( and, Instagram ( and, and Facebook ( and

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.