These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to email@example.com.
Carmine Iommazzo was recently named the General Manager of the new Westin Anaheim Resort.
1. What are you looking forward to most in your new role?
I look forward to bringing an amazing, new luxury property to the City of Anaheim and Orange County—creating experiences that have not been available to travelers in this market. Previously, affluent guests who came to Southern California would stay at one of the beach resorts and drive in each day to visit Disneyland. Now, they can stay at our brand new Four-Diamond resort right across from Disneyland and not have to drive back-and-forth each day they want to visit the park! What excites me even more is filling this architecturally beautiful and modern hotel with incredible people that will bond as a team and welcome guests from all over the world with pride, care and a commitment to serving them.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
I did work in all areas of the hotel before focusing my career on F&B, luxury resorts and large convention hotels. So all my past experiences helped me build a well-rounded and balanced understanding of what it takes to operate a hotel daily and also understand the challenges each team member experiences. Being able to understand and relate has allowed me to help find solutions and help teams find success. Coming up with new solutions is especially needed in today’s challenging times where the current pandemic has changed the way we all operate. Opening a new hotel is about bringing many people together with a common goal and keeping everyone focused on the tasks they have to complete to get to opening. I help people find the information they need to make the best decisions now, so they can be successful come opening day.
3. How did you get into the industry?
As a high school student, I thought I wanted to be an accountant because I was really good with numbers, but while studying I started working at a close friend’s family Italian restaurant in the city. That’s where I discovered my true passion for food and hospitality. I went on to study at the International College of Hotel Management in Adelaide, Australia (I was born and raised in Australia) and took on jobs at both Melbourne’s Park Hyatt Hotel, Sydney’s Regent Hotel and the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas. Many fabulous hotels, positions and locations later, I am here now in beautiful Southern California, about to open this incredible Four-Diamond hotel and just as passionate about hospitality as I was when I first started in restaurants.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
I plan to open an amazing hotel, the first new build Westin in California in over 25 years, and bring a new level of luxurious accommodations and services that Anaheim has not been able to provide previously to its millions of convention and transient visitors. I want to create memorable experiences for our associates, who will be part of the opening team, and help them to deliver indelible experiences for our guests that choose to stay with us.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
I believe the core of our industry is “to be of service and to enjoy doing that each and every day”. While being able to help guests enjoy their stay, take care of their needs, and make amazing memories are my ultimate rewards, leading a group of people to this common goal is my daily joy. I am most excited and motivated by leading and innovating what we deliver as experiences for the many different types of guests that travel here.