Cristina Catania, CMP, 31
National Sales Manager, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and Delano Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas
How I got here:
I completed my degree in hotel administration at UNLV while working several front desk positions, just before joining the MGM family. My incredible mentor piqued my interest in the meetings and conventions world. From there, I began working with small to midsize meetings at Aria and dabbled in catering at Bellagio, and now I am in my current role at our largest convention hotel.
My greatest career accomplishment:
Achieving the CMP designation. Most recently, I would say managing convention business while navigating the uncharted territory of a global pandemic.
In every sales position, I have exceeded my goals by achieving at least 120%. One year, I closed over $28 million in room revenue (over 250% of my goal). When I was a small-meetings manager, I closed 34 programs in one month.
What I'm working on right now:
Bringing the convention industry back, even if it looks a bit different, by incorporating more technology and adding in virtual for hybrid meetings.
What I do outside of work:
Currently, I am serving as a mentor in the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Association’s Emerging Leaders program, as they are the future of our industry. In my free time, you will find me at the gym, enjoying dinner with friends, traveling somewhere or spending time with my dog, my niece and my boyfriend. I also enjoy baking and photography.
Favorite vacation destination:
Way too many favorites—but if I had to pick one, I would say Belize. The Coco Reach Resort on the Ambergris Caye had some of the most stunning views, exciting adventures, incredible staff and delicious food.
Favorite icebreaker line:
I love getting to know people and their life stories. If I am not talking about their favorite travel destinations, then I always enjoy learning where they’re from and how they ended up in the hospitality industry. There is something about what we do that tends to bond people instantly and yield friendships that last a lifetime.
I have found that when I am on the road, one of the things I miss the most is my workout routine. Whenever I am packing for a work trip, I never forget my resistance bands. They’re so small and easy to fit in my carry-on and a great addition for a quick workout in the morning or at night in my room!