44 episodes

By sharing our stories we can find better solutions. Join us in The Room Block to hear conversations with compelling professionals from the world of events and hospitality. Guests share unique perspectives on their journeys, inspirations, and challenges so you can gain insight into different facets of the industry. Hosted by Jen Salerno, who has spent the last 20 years working in various positions from hotels to housing bureaus, learning along the way that the more we understand each other, the more we can achieve together.

The Room Block Jen Salerno

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 27 Ratings

By sharing our stories we can find better solutions. Join us in The Room Block to hear conversations with compelling professionals from the world of events and hospitality. Guests share unique perspectives on their journeys, inspirations, and challenges so you can gain insight into different facets of the industry. Hosted by Jen Salerno, who has spent the last 20 years working in various positions from hotels to housing bureaus, learning along the way that the more we understand each other, the more we can achieve together.

    Showing Gratitude: A Guide to Holiday Tipping, with Nancy O’Brien

    Showing Gratitude: A Guide to Holiday Tipping, with Nancy O’Brien

    It’s safe to say that the world has changed quite a bit over the last 20 months and some of us may be a bit rusty when it comes to showing our appreciation for those who make our lives easier and provide quality, dependable service. No need to worry; today's timely episode will help make your holidays a bit brighter so you can stress less. I am pleased to welcome Nancy O’Brien, Founder & CEO of The Magnetic Truth back to The Room Block to chat through her 2021 Guide to Holiday Tipping. Nancy advises how to express gratitude to those we do business with on a regular basis, and also offers guidance on how to best support our hospitality community for those of us traveling over the next few months. Happy tipping!

    Sign up to receive the 2021 Guide to Holiday Tipping here.

    Nancy O’Brien is an Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker and the CEO & Founder of The Magnetic Truth Advisory, LLC, a personal performance advisory dedicated to assisting clients in successfully navigating corporate and social landscapes with the necessary skills and confidence to achieve personal and professional goals. Clients master subtle, yet critical interpersonal skills by enhancing soft skills that hit hard on the bottom line.

    The Advisory serves a clientele including colleges students, professional athletes, newly minted MBA’s, mid-level managers, C-Suite executives and corporate sales forces focused on achieving more and distinguishing themselves from the competition.

    Prior to founding The Magnetic Truth Advisory, LLC, Ms. O’Brien enjoyed an award-winning career in sales and marketing with over 25 years of experience in hospitality, destination marketing and consumer brands/B2B including senior sales and leadership roles at Garrett Brands, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Choose Chicago and Tishman Hotel Corporation.  Ms. O’Brien is a multi-year recipient of Starwood Hotels & Resorts prestigious Sales Executive of the Year award, and Executive Leadership Award. Throughout her career she has cultivated strong client relationships, mentored countless individuals, and created meaningful connections while driving significant results.

    A native of Chicago, Ms. O’Brien holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from DePaul University and a license to instruct intercultural etiquette and protocol from the renown Protocol School of Washington. Additionally, Ms. O’Brien is a member of the Driehaus College of Business School of Hospitality Leadership Council, Vistage International Trusted Advisor Group, Greater Chicago Food Depository volunteer and former member of the United Way Women United.

    Ms. O’Brien and her husband, Ken Widelka, reside in Chicago and enjoy traveling, cooking, cycling, hiking, and spending time with their two sons.

    • 31 min
    Betting on Yourself to Grow Your Career, with Deanna Nwosu

    Betting on Yourself to Grow Your Career, with Deanna Nwosu

    After more than 2 decades working in the hospitality and events industry, Deanna Nwosu chose to step out on her own during the pandemic. Today, she is Founder and Event Strategist at Deanna Camille, which assists organizations with all aspects of virtual and in-person events. What makes somebody take the uncertain step of becoming a solopreneur during such an uncertain time for the events industry? Deanna has the answers, and they all come down to a deep trust in, and knowledge of, yourself. If you're somebody who loves being challenged, takes immense pride in your work, and isn't afraid to bet on yourself then Deanna Nwosu is somebody you should know. A perfect storm led to the creation of Deanna Camille; let this episode show you that planting even the tiniest of seeds can eventually yield the most fruitful results. 

    Deanna Nwosu is a hostess at heart. This led to her career in event planning which allows her to coordinate countless opportunities to connect with clients, vendors and stakeholders across all social strata. With more than 20 years of customer service related work, taking care of clients, members and attendees is second-nature and the driving force behind her work.

    A CMP since 2017, and a DES recipient, Deanna is also an active member of Meeting Professionals International, serving on the RISE Awards committee globally, and the Director of Marketing for the Ohio chapter.  In 2020 she launched DeannaCamille.com offering event industry strategy, public speaking and emcee services.

    As a mom of two girls and born and bred Ohio girl, Deanna is always dreaming of a beach vacation.

    Follow Deanna on Instagram @deannacamille20

    Listen to the Experience Junkies Podcast

    • 37 min
    Producing Events While Having Endless Fun, with Will Curran

    Producing Events While Having Endless Fun, with Will Curran

    Many people who work in the events industry may be prone to stress and burnout, but Will Curran is not one of them. As Founder and Chief Event Einstein of Endless Events, Will seems to have found the antidote: do what you love and what you're good at. Will loves the career and life that he’s designed so much that he almost makes it sound easy to produce in-person, virtual, and hybrid events for a portfolio of over 1,000 customers. While I know that's not the case, I have a feeling this episode will show you that there are truly endless possibilities to living the life you desire. During his stay in The Room Block I asked Will why people love him and his company so much, how he became “THE guy” in the event tech space, and what he learned from starting Endless Events when he was just 17 years old.  You’ll hear from Will that one of his specialties is taking things that seem complex or even impossible and demystifying them, and realize that he has used that skill to create a life of true happiness.

    Will Curran has been named one of the most influential people in the meeting & events industry, one of the 40 under 40 event industry leaders, 35 entrepreneurs under the age of 35, and Inc Magazine’s Coolest College Start-up all before graduating college. Will has been producing in-person and virtual events since high school when he started his first company and has now worked in the production of large event clients such as Emerald City Comicon, Anheuser-Busch, Warner Brothers, Morton Salt & Uber. His team’s mission is to simplify the event planning process by creating the equation for an event’s perfect solution. They also relentlessly seek to be the name in customer service in the events industry. From event logistics to business development to technical production, Will Curran has a diverse background in growing events and companies to the next level.

    Where to find Will:

    Twitter: @itswillcurran

    Instagram: @itswillcurran

    Facebook: fb.me/thewillcurran

    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/willcurran

    Where to find Endless Events:

    Twitter: @helloendless

    Instagram: @helloendless

    Facebook: facebook.com/helloendless

    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/companies/helloendless

    • 37 min
    Holding Space for Events and Hospitality, with David Kliman

    Holding Space for Events and Hospitality, with David Kliman

    The events and hospitality industry is a leader when it comes to resilency and creativity.  It's easy to see why, being made up of idea generators, people connectors, deep thinkers and solution seekers. My first guest of the new season embodies all of these things and as a result, has made a lasting impact on the strength of the industry. David Kliman, founder and president of The Kliman Group has been serving the industry in this capacity for almost 2 decades, but his legacy of holding space for hospitality and events extends beyond that. From hotelier and event planner to meeting facilitator and connector, hear about where David started in the industry, how building relationships and making connections catipulted his career, and what led him to be the epitome of servant leadership as co-founder of the Events Industry Council APEX COVID Business Recovery Task Force. 

    David Kliman, CMM is founder and President of The Kliman Group, which specializes in creating and facilitating think tanks and performing in depth research and training for tourism industry organizations. The Kliman Group’s clients include numerous destination marketing organizations, convention centers and hotel companies.

    In 2020, David co-founded the Events Industry Council APEX COVID Business Recovery Task Force and also currently serves on the MPI Foundation Global Board of Trustees. David has served as International Chairman of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) and on the White House Council of Travel and Tourism.  He’s been awarded MPI’s International Planner of the Year and was named Top 25 Influencer of the Meeting Industry by Northstar Meetings Group for 2020.

     

    • 36 min
    Revamping Your To-Do List: More Want-Tos, Less Have-Tos

    Revamping Your To-Do List: More Want-Tos, Less Have-Tos

    Life can so easily feel like an endless stream of tasks. We get so caught up in all of the things we have to or should do, that we ignore or feel guilty about the things we actually want to do. In this episode, I share what I learned by stepping away from my vast "have to-do" list, instead spending the summer checking off my "want to-dos." If you find it challenging to indulge in the things you really want to do over the things feel you have to, consider this episode a permission slip to revamp your to-do list. You may be surprised how much more you'll be able to accomplish in the end.

    This episode is brought to you by JTS Connect, offering host, emcee, and moderation services for live or virtual events, as well as podcast hosting and consultation.  Want to connect your customers or audience with ideas to inspire action? Learn more about JTS Connect here! 

    Referenced in episode:

    Digital Event Strategist (DES) Certification

    The Wise Pineapple Juicy Tidbits Jen Salerno
    Connecting the Dots between Events and the Rest of the Hospitality Industry with Jen Salerno
    GMC PCMA IDE Lunch & Learn – Double Check your Digital Accessibility
    Judi Holler

    This is The Courtesy Block, a chip off The Room Block podcast.

    • 13 min
    Doing the Work: A Look Inside an IDE Task Force, with Yolanda Simmons-Battle, Jatare Barrett, and Alli Shebek

    Doing the Work: A Look Inside an IDE Task Force, with Yolanda Simmons-Battle, Jatare Barrett, and Alli Shebek

    Almost a year into the development of the PCMA Greater Midwest Chapter's Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE) Task Force I sit down with founding members, Yolanda Simmons-Battle, Jatare Barrett and Alli Shebek to talk about how and why it was formed, the type of programming it provides, its future goals and what they have learned. We also reflect on some of the other significant events and anniversaries that are important to discuss when exploring IDE efforts. Our history may be in the past, but it created the foundation that we stand on today and that foundation is in need of some major repairs. Tune in to learn how you can begin, what role we all need to play and why it's so important to continuously seek new information.

    Yolanda Simmons Battle is a born and raised Chi-town girl as the only child to wonderful parents. She was raised to desire to learn more, to love people and enjoy life that more abundantly. She is married and the proud mother of three children. Yolanda holds a B.A in Psychology from Roosevelt University, currently working on her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a Certified Meeting Professional. As her role as a Senior Meeting Manager, she also serves as the Chair of the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Task Force of GMC PCMA, the Chair of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee at AHIMA, and a licensed Minister at Purposed Christian Church, under Rev. LeAundre and Prophetess Patricia Hill, Pastors. Yolanda is an eternal learner, an avid reader, and a consummate seeker of justice.

    Jatare Barrett is a certified meeting professional with more than 15 years of international and domestic event and meeting management experience. She was invited to join the GMC PCMA Inclusion, Diversity and Equity task force, which was the first task force for PCMA in 2020. Passionate about learning more about the topic, she has recently completed the University of South Florida MUMA Inclusion Diversity and Equity certification program. She has co-created two inclusion, diversity and equity workshops with GMC PCMA within the last six months as well as served as a panelist for a Choose Chicago staff IDE workshop.

    Alli Shebek, DMCP, is a Senior Experience Designer with PRA Events in Chicago, a leading business events management firm. She first got involved with PCMA after being selected as one of the "20 in Their Twenties" Class of 2018, and has been an engaged member since then. Alli currently serves as Marketing Co-Chair for the PCMA GMC Chapter, as well as a member of the IDE Task Force. She is also actively involved in MPI, serving as Director of Marketing for the Chicago Area Chapter. Alli is passionate about voting rights and access to free and fair elections, and volunteers with Vote Save America and MoveOn to serve this passion. When she isn't designing events, creating marketing campaigns, or engaging with voters, Alli can be found enjoying live music at concerts or relaxing near Lake Michigan with her dog, Roo.

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

kn1ghter ,

Outstanding show!

This is a truly great show with diverse guests, interesting topics and engaging conversation. I really enjoy listening each week - it’s on my list of shows to never miss.

Tammia1 ,

Look forward too

Each week I look forward to listening to Jen’s podcast. I enjoy hearing the thoughts of others in our industry - we are fascinating😀a unique bunch.

rob_wilson ,

Inspired

I am extremely inspired and admire the way Jen has taken on the challenge of podcasting for the last 6 months. But also that she is open to exploring topics that aren’t obvious or comfortable. She is so positive and wants to learn. Being curious and learning different people’s points of view is a very good quality to develop. She has courage and knows how to encourage her listens through the guests on The Room Block and her shorter courtesy block podcasts. She is using the experiences and circumstances in her life to face her fears and try new things. I highly recommend this podcast!

Top Podcasts In Business

You Might Also Like