Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Caliendo

Gino Caliendo

General Manager, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Gino Caliendo has served as the general manager of Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, the largest convention hotel between Atlanta and Orlando, since May of 2014. He has more than 33 years of experience in the hotel industry, all with Hyatt hotels and resorts across the U.S., and he most recently served for six years as the general manager at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to Hill Country, Mr. Caliendo served as general manager for the Hyatt Regency Miami, Hyatt Regency Coral Gables and Hyatt Regency Deerfield. He also held various other food-and-beverage positions, including opening the resort on Grand Cayman, Grand Hyatt Tampa, Los Angeles and New Orleans. Mr. Caliendo oversees all aspects of hotel operations. As the general manager for the region's largest convention hotel, he works with local convention, tourism and development officials to attract more business to the area. Of special focus for Mr. Caliendo is the hotel's ongoing initiatives to support downtown economic development, positioning the city for future growth. He is also an active supporter of “Hyatt Thrive,” the company's global corporate responsibility initiative, and he has led a number of projects that give back to the local community and residents. Mr. Caliendo grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and studied at Duquesne University. He lives in Jacksonville with his wife of 25 years, Kyla. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, good conversation, fine wine, excellent food, good books, watching movies, fly-fishing, animals and fantasy football.

Please visit http://www.hyatt.com for more information.

Mr. Caliendo can be contacted at 904-588-1234 or gino.caliendo@hyatt.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.