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.
Taryn Hruzek was recently hired as sales manager for Visit Lubbock.
1. What are you most looking forward to in your new role as a sales manager for Visit Lubbock?
I’m really looking forward to the formation of new relationships/networks within the industry. Because of my markets (religious, military and group tours), I have the opportunity to attend trade shows and conferences all over the U.S. with the goal of bringing different organizations and events back to Lubbock. I’m really excited for the experience and the opportunity to develop my skills in the travel and tourism industry.
2. How do you think your past industry experience has prepared you for this role?
When I transferred to Texas Tech University in 2012, I began working toward my bachelor’s degree in restaurant, hotel, and institutional management. In a conversation with one of my professors, he told me the best way to be successful in hospitality is to gain hands-on experience in every aspect of the industry possible, so I did exactly that. I worked with event companies, restaurants, hotels and even held a position in public relations. All of these jobs work with a wide variety of individuals, and seeing the industry from many different perspectives has really helped me grow and understand how it all works together.
3. What goals do you have in mind for the CVB for this year and farther down the line?
My main goal is to learn everything I can about the travel and tourism side of the hospitality industry. I’ve sold products before like food and hotel rooms, but selling an experience is a completely different concept. Learning more about the industry will help me be more successful in my work.
4. How did you get into the hospitality industry?
My freshman year of college I had the opportunity to volunteer with the South by Southwest Music & Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Not only did I get the chance to work on the event planning side, but I saw how popular the festival was and how much tourism—both national and international—it brought to the city of Austin. I enjoyed my experience at SXSW, and I loved meeting new people. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to work in the hospitality industry.
5. What do you enjoy most about the CVB?
I love the work environment! Everyone I work with has been so welcoming and helpful throughout my transition into this position, even those outside of our office. I’m grateful and blessed to work for an organization like Visit Lubbock.
6. Any additional comments?
There is so much more to this city than you could possibly imagine. Lubbock is so unique, and you’d be surprised at what you can see and experience while you’re here!