Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Armstrong

John Armstrong

Executive Chef, Sheraton Seattle

John W. Armstrong IV serves as Executive Chef at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. A member of the Marriott International America's Culinary Council and legacy member of the Starwood North America Food & Beverage Council, Chef Armstrong is proud to lead exceptional teams in planning and executing menus for major events, including the 21st through 25th years of the Sheraton Seattle Gingerbread Village benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. His other accomplishments include building the 2015 Sheraton & Official MLB Partnership Menus, developing the 2015 Marketplace Concept for Starwood Hotels at New York Times Square. 

Chef Armstrong was a Corporate Teacher at the 2014 North America F&B Conference at Sheraton Phoenix and successfully planned and executing the first-ever Sheraton Global General Managers Summit in 2014. In 2013 executed the Rooms, IT, Six Sigma & Engineering Conference as well as creating and executing the 2013-2014 Westin & Sheraton Global Brand Phase XIII Menus.

Chef Armstrong was awarded the 2017 Marriott Award of Excellence for Outstanding Performance & Leader of the Year.  He has received numerous awards and honors, including: 2016 America's Award of Culinary Excellence Nominee, March of Dimes' 2013 Lead Signature Chef, 2012 Food Cost Operational Excellence Award, and 2012 & 2013 Ecosure achievements. He has also been instrumental in making contributions to Food Lifeline, a hunger relief agency.

Previously, Chef Armstrong served as Executive Chef at Westin La Cantera, where he led the operation of multiple AAA Four Diamond restaurants spanning the La Cantera PGA Course and Arnold Palmer Course. At Westin, he successfully executed eight years of the PGA Tour Texas Open. Before joining Starwood, Chef Armstrong worked for Marriott Hotels & Resorts, during which he was named the youngest senior banquet chef in Marriott corporate history and was chosen to be on a specialized taskforce team that worked on high-profile events around the country. Prior to that, he worked at five major restaurants at Lake Buena Vista Resort & Spa and was selected to work at the five-star Arthur's 27 restaurant.

Chef Armstrong was educated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania under Master Chef Dieter Kiessling where he received the President's Honors Awards for Achievement.  Most importantly, he has the love and support of his family, his wife Sonia and his two beautiful children, John V and Elena, who are the reasons for all of his hard work.

Mr. Armstrong can be contacted at 210-365-8254 or John.ArmstrongIV@sheraton.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.