25 Things You Didn’t Know About Gerilyn Horan

Gerilyn Horan must have been destined for great things in hospitality. After all, her first job with Hilton Hotels was at the famed Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. She built a career at luxury properties in Napa Valley and Hong Kong before taking a turn on the other side of the table at HelmsBriscoe. She joined the third-party planning giant in 2011, rising to vice president, North America, in 2017. In June 2018, Horan returned to her roots as vice president of group sales. You can read most of these details on her LinkedIn profile, but here are 25 things you don’t know about the industry legend.
  1. My favorite movie is … “The Birdcage” makes me laugh every time—Or “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
  2. I never leave the house without… sunglasses.
  3. If I had to eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be… New York pizza.
  4. Growing up, I was sure I would be… living in a city having grown up in a small town.
  5. I know every word to the song… too many.
  6. The best gifts I’ve ever received were… the one’s from my son that he made for me. Think popsicle-stick-picture frame filled with his 4-year-old smiling face.
  7. My nickname in high school was… Reg.
  8. If you find me in the kitchen, I’m typically whipping up… a creative salad—good and good for you!
  9. At an industry conference or event, you can typically find me… spending time with my team members and our customers.
  10. I felt most proud in my career when… I was recently able to rejoin Hilton after many years away. You can always go home!
  11. The hardest part about working in the events industry is… the travel, but it’s also the best thing. Those in the industry will understand!
  12. I believe the single most important quality in a leader is… humility.
  13. Barack Obama …is a leader I truly admire.
  14. My go-to in-flight beverage choice is… water, and lots of it.
  15. The destination at the top of my travel bucket list is… Southeast Asia: Thailand and Vietnam.
  16. My favorite part of my job is… getting to work with colleagues who are totally committed to their customers; who are wicked smart; and who want to do good things for the industry.
  17. The last book I read was… “Becoming”—Do you see a theme here?!
  18. I think the biggest challenge to hosting a meeting/conference/event is… considering what is going to resonate most with the largest swath of your audience from venue, food, education, etc.
  19. My least favorite part about social media is… wondering if my post sounds clever enough while striking the right balance of professionalism.
  20. In 10 years, I’m betting the events industry will be… bigger and better than ever with more intimate meeting set-ups, more shared experiences built into the agenda, and AI having a big impact on the overall meeting experience.
  21. My first job was a… dining room attendant in a rest home.
  22. The last item of clothing I bought was… while at a meeting in Atlanta, I realized I forgot my jacket for the next day’s meeting. I bought a cashmere sweater on a huge sale—a win-win.
  23. The celebrity I’d most like to spend a day with is… As a Jersey girl, it has to be Bruce Springsteen. I recently saw his show on Broadway and it was phenomenal.
  24.  If I could move anywhere in the entire world, I’d live in… San Francisco.  I’ve lived there twice during my career and miss it every day.

  25. My dream event to attend is… the Oscars.