HSMAI Hospitality Recovery Hero: Ally Adams

As part of the 2021 Adrian Awards program, HSMAI Hospitality Recovery Heroes is honoring hospitality professionals working toward recovery at the local and front-line levels, supporting hotels, destinations, safety measures, and charitable programs that have helped make a difference for their companies and in their communities. Nominations are open.

HOSPITALITY RECOVERY HERO: Ally Adams, director of event sales for First Hospitality, based in Louisville, Kentucky

CONTRIBUTION: What had been an eight-person area sales team was reduced to Adams and one other person in March 2020. Originally responsible for sales and operations at the Henry Clay Event Center in Louisville, Adams immediately threw herself into selling hotels and catering — for the first time in her career — for all of First Hospitality’s Louisville properties. She and her colleague made more than 200 prospecting calls a week, eventually helping uncover and book a $2.6-million account.

RESULTS: Thanks to Adams’ energy, enthusiasm, and tenacity, First Hospitality was able to able to keep its five Louisville assets open, keep some staff on, and later hire back staff. In 2021, she has already booked more than $400,000 in event revenue. Plus, Adams lifts up her team by always arriving to work with a positive, professional attitude and knows how to lighten the mood just by entering the room.

NOMINATED BY: Dustin Stutzman, area director of sales and marketing for First Hospitality — “I was awarded Director of Sales of the Year for First Hospitality in 2020. The reason I won this award was because of Ally and her efforts with our team. She inspired me to keep working hard, she found business, and she made it happen. Ally is deserving of recognition, and I will do everything I can to share her story, so she knows how appreciated she is.”

The HSMAI Adrian Awards recognize travel marketing excellence. This year’s competition will focus on capturing the great work done by hotels, destinations, and their agency partners to get the country moving again, showcase safety and security, and welcome those traveling for the first time in more than a year. The entry process for the 2021 Adrian Awards competition is now open.