Chautauqua Institution

  • MARKETING: Group Sales Manager

    Job Locations US-NY-Chautauqua
    Posted Date 4 weeks ago(8/26/2019 11:32 AM)
    # of Openings
  • Overview

    Chautauqua Institution is a ‘not-for-profit’ global convener of dialogue and debate on the most significant issues of the day through engagement across four pillars of arts, education, religion, and recreation.  The Chautauqua Community is located on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State and comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine/performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship/programs, and recreational activities.


    Mission:  Chautauqua Institution is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a program that explores the important religious, social, and political issues of our times; stimulates provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance, and teaching of the arts. 


    Vision:  Chautauqua aspires to create an informed, engaged, and renewed public that fosters and actively contributes to a more civil society, nationally and within the various communities represented by its individual constituents and partners. 


    Position Summary

    The Group Sales Manager is responsible for attracting new group business to Chautauqua Institution, coordinating overnight accommodations and meals, planning programs, and generally orchestrating the guest experience both during the nine-week summer assembly season and outside of that timeframe.  The Group Sales Manager will steward relationships with existing group tour organizations and agencies while cultivating new partnerships to bring guests to the Institution from target markets and beyond. 


    This incumbent is a member of the Marketing & Communications Division and collaborates with colleagues across the institution, including and most significantly with the Athenaeum Hotel and its conferencing services, to achieve a world-class service experience for all guests.  The Manager also works with organizations in the region to coordinate off-grounds experiences.


    Duties and Responsibilities

    • Collaborate with the Director of Guest Experience & Sales, Hotel General Manager, Director of Conferences & Special Events, and Sales Management Team to solicit business and exceed sales goals with a focus on guest engagement.
    • Develop and continually enhance relationships with key accounts, community organizations, and professional associations to maintain visibility and increase market share. Provide stewardship to existing groups including Road Scholar, renowned international adult education and travel program.
    • Curate group experiences in collaboration with colleagues and external partners, including accommodations, meals, travel, transportation, and other necessary arrangements. Maintain high visibility in areas of responsibility and interface with customers on a regular basis to obtain feedback on service levels and overall satisfaction. 
    • Greet clients and guests at every event to ensure fulfillment of contractual obligations, flawless execution, answer questions and find an immediate resolution to concerns. Facilitate a team environment to deliver superior customer service and ensure complete guest satisfaction.
    • Monitor event activities to satisfaction of participants, adherence to organization policies/procedures, and compliance with applicable laws. Follow standard procedures to record feedback for constant improvement of consistency, quality, profit, and guest service for events.
    • In collaboration with the Director of Guest Experience & Sales, participate in a multi-year plan to deliver targeted customer satisfaction and service levels. Utilize a scorecard (dashboard) to measure progress throughout the year in attaining guest satisfaction and service levels.
    • Solicit, negotiate and contract business through various efforts including business visits, cold calls, tourism conferences, prospecting, site tours, sales blitzes, prompt and competent follow-up on leads/referrals.  Use customer relationship management and networking skills to maximize revenue.
    • Collaborate with the Hotel General Manager, Lodging Manager, Director of Conference Operations & Special Events, Food & Beverage Director, Restaurant Manager, and Executive Chef/Culinary Team to coordinate meetings, host facility tours, and conduct detailed consultations for events.
    • Provide detailed customization services and professional counsel to any client with special requests ensuring that those requests can be granted within confines of rules and regulations.
    • Track Banquet Event Orders (BEOs) and contracts for groups to maintain historical record keeping.
    • Participate in Marketing and Sales/BEO Meetings to collaborate with interworking staff to review event details, develop creative solutions for continuous improvement, and overcome obstacles in operations.
    • Manage group sales budget and develop projections/plans to support sales aligned with an organization-wide strategic plan and business plans. Monitors actual-to-budgeted expenses.  Provide data and reports that inform annual budget development and forecast events/revenue. 
    • Assist with the posting of event deposits/final payments ensuring that timely communication occurs and monthly financial reporting is available for EVP/CFO and Director of Accounting. Assist with the review of outstanding accounts receivable each month.
    • Evaluate the success of strategies to inform future decision making and determine impact on operations. Hold direct reports and support teams accountable for successful delivery on departmental business plan and organization-wide strategic initiatives.
    • Provide input on pricing strategy in consideration of seasonality, customer segments, and property objectives. In collaboration with Marketing and Communication colleagues, prepares pricing information for presentation to the public via print and electronic communications.
    • Partner with Hotel General Manager and interworking departments within Chautauqua Institution/Chautauqua Hotel Company to obtain and communicate information regarding summer operations and programming to act as a ‘bridge’ to the overall guest experience at the Institution.
    • Manage a seasonal team to coordinate and oversee on-grounds tours of Chautauqua Institution.
    • Partner with the Director of Guest Experience and Human Resources to direct the hiring process for seasonal tour guides in iCIMS Recruitment/Onboarding Software, including review of applications, conducting interviews and completing corresponding electronic onboarding processes.
    • Monitor and/or complete timely authorization of hours worked for payroll processing in UltiPro HRIS System. Audit areas of responsibility to guarantee compliance with Federal and New York State Labor Laws, Company Policies/Procedures, Standard Operating Procedures, and Guest Service Standards.


    Formal Education Requirements 

    • Bachelor's Degree in Marketing, Hospitality Management, Communications, or related field strongly preferred. Candidate with the equivalent combination of professional experience will also be considered in lieu of a degree.        


    Formal Experience Requirements

    • Minimum 5-years of experience in a client-facing role leading mission-driven, customer/constituent-focused sales, fundraising, or marketing required.  Strong preference is given to candidates with proven sales experience in addition to professional event administration.

    Skills and Abilities

    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written/verbal) to provide positive client service and develop professional relationships with management and staff at all levels. 
    • Exceptional organizational skills/attention to detail coupled with the ability to take initiative and prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced, high demand environment. Prior experience with Point of Sale and Constituent Relationship Management Systems preferred. 
    • Ability to lead sales strategy, process, and procedures.
    • Proficiency in various computer applications, including Microsoft Suite and SharePoint/One Drive as leveraged for knowledge management, planning, communication, and assessment. 
    • Demonstrated ability to think creatively and strategically with a continuous improvement mindset.
    • Active learning and listening skills to understand the implication of new information for current/future problem solving and decision making as well asking questions as appropriate. 
    • Social perceptiveness and persuasion as related to reactions and responses to those reactions.
    • Demonstrate a fluency of ideas and commitment to a collaborative approach to work.

    Working Conditions and Environmental Hazards

    • Normal levels of office noise from conversation, computers, and systems. Work requires strict visual contact with a computer screen at least 80% of the workday; risk of eye strain due to computer usage. 

    Physical Requirements  

    • Primarily light work with approximately 85% of work performed sitting at a desk and using substantial/repetitive motion of fingers, wrists, and hands (including grasping).   
    • Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body.
    • Stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching and when organizing office, filing paperwork and managing daily administrative tasks using resources at floor/desk/overhead levels.
    • Standing, walking, pushing, pulling and lifting to travel to work events and assist with transportation of materials and/or set up of equipment.
    • Visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal and extensive reading.
    • Talking by expressing ideas and conveying instructions as well as hearing to perceive sound with or without corrections.  Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication. 



    • Marketing and Communications
    • Hotel, Food & Beverage, and Sales
    • Human Resources and Payroll


    • Strategic Business Partners
    • Vendors
    • Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau (located within Welcome Center)
    • Community-at-large, including visitors, residents, and donors

    Supervision and Guidance

    • Seasonal Staff of Tour Guides/Drivers

    Hours of Work

    • The work schedule requires a commitment of 45-50 hours/week with flexibility to work evenings, weekends and holidays as required and a willingness to flex up in scheduled work hours (based on business need) – particularly during summer seasonal operations.



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