River City Six – Vanessa Vasa
Meet Vanessa Vasa, director of events for the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District (www.downtownomahamarriott.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
We are in the center of it all, connecting the Old Market Historic District to the North Downtown area and as the anchor to the quickly-growing entertainment district at 10th & Capitol. Business is boo ming! We are full service Marriott hotel with 333 breathtaking guest rooms and suites and more than 17,000 square feet of function space. Not to mention we have the only rooftop pool deck in Omaha!
How did you get started in the business?
I’ve always been an operations gal at heart and began my career in food and beverage at the age of 15. During college, I transitioned from the restaurant world to the hotel world by joining the opening team of the Embassy Suites in La Vista in the banquet department. Shortly after the hotel opened I was asked to assist in the sales department while someone was on leave. The rest is history!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Quite honestly, it’s been opening this hotel. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of opening this beautiful hotel, but we wanted to make it the absolute best it could be. It needed to be perfect! There was a lot of pressure in that, but overall, it’s been extremely rewarding. The returning guest satisfaction and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, which has made it all worth it.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Also being a part of the opening team and the end result. We are so proud of this hotel. It is a true honor to welcome guests in each and every day knowing our staff worked endlessly in making sure that every detail was perfect. Our guests’ expressions when they see and experience just how incredible our hotel truly is might be the most satisfying part.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am happily married with a beautiful 2-year-old son named Miles.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Day off? HA. What’s that? All jokes aside, I love spending time with my family and enjoy the outdoors.
What are you the most proud of?
The team we have built here. They are some of the most hardworking, talented people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
Life’s a Dance by John Michael Montgomery. It’s a great reminder that life is all about learning, taking chances and staying humble.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I love music, but can’t sing to save my life. It would be amazing to be able to rule the karaoke stage.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
Professional world traveler.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
I have a very special place in my heart for the Nebraska Children’s Home Society. I’m on the fundraising board and we organize a yearly event called Homegrown to support the organization.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Society 1854 of course! But… if I’m outside of the hotel, J. Coco is close to home.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?