Appointments & Promotions

New Convention Center General Manager Named at Embassy Suites Naperville

Mary Ann Kenmotsu Aims to Set the Gold Standard for West Suburban Hospitality

NAPERVILLE, IL. October 30, 2017 – Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Naperville has announced the appointment of Mary Ann Kenmotsu as General Manager Freedom Plaza Convention Center. In addition to overseeing operations at the two-year-old convention center, Kenmotsu is focused on injecting a new service-based, community-driven culture. By drawing on close to 30 years of experience in hospitality and a relentless commitment to customer satisfaction, Kenmotsu aims to set a gold standard for social and corporate events at the area’s largest hotel banquet facility.

“My goal is to be a pillar in the community and establish our reputation for dynamic events, creative food and a relaxing atmosphere,” said Kenmotsu, who’s passion and knowledge of hospitality come from a career devoted to excellence, hard work and integrity. “My team is tasked on creating personalized, unique stays through outstanding service.”

Kenmotsu’s previous role as Director of Catering & Conference Services at the IACC-certified Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center has positioned her well to lead a staff of 50 team members at Embassy Suites Naperville Convention Center, which boasts a 13,000 square-foot Grand Ballroom. At Oak Brook Hills, Kenmotsu was responsible for the creation and execution of memorable events, from the planning to the menus to the vendors. She quickly distinguished the 30-year-old Oak Brook Hills as the place to be for the holidays with unique events that sold out annually like Easter Brunch, Mother’s Day Brunch, Father’s Day “Bentleys, Bourbon & Bowties” and New Year’s Eve “Timeless.” The scope of Kenmotsu’s expertise goes far and above her primary job functions.

“When a new client walks through my door, I focus on making their dream vision into a reality,” asserted Kenmotsu. Likewise, the new GM has her sights set extremely high Kenmotsu for the contemporary Embassy Suites Naperville. Since opening, the hotel has been lauded not only for its upscale accommodations and magnificent ballroom, but also for its signature restaurant, Brickstones Grill, free made-to-order breakfast, the heated indoor pool, and the 24-hour fitness and business centers.

“Mary Ann brings an incredible amount of talent to Embassy Suites,” said President & CEO of Superhost Enterprise Ash Lakhany. “Her creativity and leadership skills are emphasized by constantly exceeding guest expectations. We look forward to a new era of gracious hospitality in the western suburbs!”

Kenmotsu’s experience in hospitality began early in her teenage years in restaurants, where the native Hawaiian was introduced to dining room service and restaurant operations. The University of Illinois grad started her hotel career as the Food & Beverage Director at the Queen Kapiolani in Honolulu. There she was the youngest department head and received numerous awards for her leadership and management skills. Upon moving to Chicago, Kenmotsu accepted the position of Executive Vice President for Premium Food Products before taking a role with Mitchell Hospitality Group where she was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

While working as Director of Catering & Convention Services for the Omni Ambassador East Hotel and the Pump Room, Kenmotsu earned national brand recognition as a top performer. Her career has also led her to positions as Food & Beverage Director and Director of Catering and Conference Services at the DoubleTree Hotel & Conference Center Chicago North Shore, the Sofitel Chicago O’Hare, the InterContinental O’Hare and most recently, the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center. Kenmotsu holds the prestigious designations of CMP (Certified Meeting Planner) and CPCE (Certified Professional in Catering and Events), and is an active NACE member, CMP Conclave attendee and former IACC committee member.

About the Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Naperville:

A contemporary, all-suite hotel offering spectacular views of the surrounding area and walking distance to stores and restaurants. The hotel is located off I-88 and is less than 30 minutes from O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW). Guests are invited to stroll along the scenic brick pathways of the Naperville Riverwalk, visit Naper Settlement, a fascinating outdoor history museum, or take the whole family for a fun day out at Centennial Beach. The hotel offers 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space for business meetings, weddings and special events for up to 1,000 guests. Each suite features a separate living room with a sleeper sofa, work desk and a wet bar area with mini-fridge, microwave and coffeemaker. Guests can surf the web using WiFi access and stay entertained with movies on the HDTV. They can also maintain their exercise regime in the well-equipped fitness center or swim lengths in the heated indoor pool. Room rates include free made-to-order breakfast and a complimentary Manager’s Reception every evening. Visit the Embassy Suites website to book.

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.