We are happy to continue our weekly series called Insight; New York Hospitality Professionals. In this episode Karen Shackman, President and CEO of Shackman Associates interviews Megan Ferguson, Director of Sales at the Lotte New York Palace
“Insight; New York Hospitality Professionals”, a weekly interview series with professionals from the MICE industry in New York.
These are uncertain times for our industry – yet we believe that now is the moment to bring our industry closer together by strengthening our ties and relationships on a more human level. It is for this reason that Shackman Associates is undertaking a series of interviews with other New York hospitality professionals to learn how they are managing during this time.
Karen Shackman: Thank you, Megan. I remember well the wonderful breakfast you hosted in the beautiful Champagne Suite last year for our international Fam trip. It is such a great backdrop for a high-end client reception.
Thanks for taking the time for this interview. I so appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts with fellow industry professionals.
Karen: Megan, please start with introduce yourself, your role in the company, and how long you have been with the property.
Megan Ferguson: My name is Megan Ferguson. I am the Director of Sales at Lotte New York Palace. I have been with the Lotte Palace Hotel for over nine years.
Karen: Nine years is a long time for our industry. That is truly commendable and says a lot about the property. What is your current situation? Are you in lockdown? And if so, where?
Megan: We were going into the hotel until the end of March. After we went to work from home, I quarantined myself for 16 days and then headed to my parents outside of Philadelphia. I do miss the 7PM clapping for our front-line workers.
Karen: That is such an emotional gesture of respect and support for those frontline workers and really reflects the nature of New Yorkers during tough times. What has changed since your self-quarantine and what does your daily schedule look like now?
Megan: I get up and go for an hour long walk each morning. I make oatmeal Monday thru Friday and then do something else for breakfast on the weekends to break it up and make weekends feel special. We actually meal plan on Sundays and I go to the grocery store once a week. Midweek, I generally try to work until 6PM and then like to watch PBS NewsHour to catch up on the current situation. Other than that, I try not to watch too much news.
Karen: Under these circumstances, limiting the amount of news we watch or listen to is certainly a good idea these days. Is your current work routine the same as when you were in the office? How have you set yourself up?
Megan: Work is very different than when I was in the office. We are lucky that we still have a good number of people in sales working but it is definitely “all hands-on deck” with any project and we all wear many hats to cover everything we need to with clients. We definitely miss all the team members that we had to furlough. I have a separate room for work and ordered a printer/scanner/copier to take care of the administrative tasks we need. One big change for me personally is that I never liked music in the office as I was always meeting with colleagues but now, if not on a call, I love having music on in the background.
Karen: You are very fortunate to have a separate space for your “home office”, even with or without music. It seems that so many people in the city are using a specific space in their home for multi-purpose living now. It is good to know that you have a good number of colleagues still work