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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Cantrell has been named president of sales, operations and business development, and Sarah Carey has been named president of creative and marketing for RMC.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?
Karen Cantrell: RMC has afforded me the challenges and experiences of a lifetime, trusting in my ability to help bring our clients the very best. I hope to continue with that trust, working with all of our incredible employees, vendors and hotel partners to create experiences of a lifetime. Making the impossible, possible.
Sarah Carey: My new role allows me to have a larger impact on the company as a whole. Previously, I was mostly supporting our sales team and special events. Company culture is a big passion of mine, and I am thrilled to unite all of our unique departments and create more team synergy. The potential for us to grow, both within the company and to new destinations, is unlimited.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
KC: I grew up in the country in Arizona riding my horse Paco in 4-H events where I loved the team building experiences that culminated in my wide-eyed excitement riding in the State Fair carrying the American flag. Fast forward a few years, I loved my philanthropic work with the Oklahoma State University Foundation and the Dallas Opera House. There, my joys were bringing people together to share in their passions whether it was supporting an alma mater or the arts. Today, I am very fortunate to help put together exclusive experiences for people where hopefully their expectations and visions are surpassed, and they leave RMC with a new jubilance for life, just as I had as a girl on a horse.
SC: My journey with RMC began in 2005 and really before that when I was in high school helping with events. Once I graduated from the University of Denver, I did an internship in Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole will always have a special place in my heart–it’s truly an Eden on Earth. From there, I headed to Colorado Springs where I opened a destination office servicing mainly the Broadmoor. The Broadmoor is the longest running 5-Star, 5-Diamond property in Colorado, and the experience I gained from this partner is immeasurable. After five years, I was ready to move and was asked to open an office in Park City, Utah. Twelve years later, I’m still living in Park City, and needless to say, I absolutely love Utah. My role in Park City has changed over the years, growing from program operations to creative development, a team created to service sales managers and ensure our guests receive the most cutting-edge entertainment and décor, to overseeing our warehouse and now human resources. Every role has taught me something new and has increased my knowledge of RMC’s inner workings. I truly know the strengths and special parts of each destination and every department within RMC. I am honored to be a part of this amazing company and to have such intense passion for what I do. I am truly grateful.
3. How did you get into the industry?
KC: I always dreamed of a career where I could share my passion for the outdoors and my love of bringing people together to share in that joy, and I am very fortunate to find that with RMC. Thankfully, RMC found a kindred spirit with me, and I have loved my daily journey with them.
SC: The industry truly came to me. I grew up in a home with a mother who owned a destination management company. At a young age, I was helping with dispatches, setting up décor and assisting with programs. I feel so lucky to have found this niche industry when I was only in high school!
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
KC: My hope is to bring the RMC model of creativity and customer service to be the top name that people call when they want an experience that will enhance their lives and the lives of those around them, whether it is for work or a personal adventure. I love making the impossible a reality, and I will strive every day to make that an important mission for RMC and our guests.
SC: The company has grown so much in the last five years, and we have more growing to do. My role moving forward is to help preserve RMC’s culture as we evolve and continue to expand. Part of what makes RMC so special is the owner and her passion for a ‘family-style’ environment. Every one of our employees is truly cared for, and they are a part of the RMC family. Another goal is to continue to expand our warehouses–we live in the mountains and other remote locations, but we want to continue having events as if we are in the cities. The future for RMC is bright, and my goal is to keep us shining, both inside and out.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
KC: Friends. The hospitality industry can look overwhelming when you see all of the hotels, vendors, clients, partners and people who make this industry what it is. However, what I love most about it is that it also gives you friends wherever you go and wherever your plane may take you on any journey.
SC: My passion is absolutely happy clients. Nothing makes me happier than partnering with a client and having them walk into a room with tears because exactly what they want is before them. Those are my fondest memories and the ones I cherish most.