New Director of Sales & Marketing Announced at
The Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center
Oak Brook, IL (January 26, 2015) The Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center has appointed Nathan Karsten as the Director of Sales and Marketing. In this role, Karsten is responsible for driving sales and brand awareness for the multi-faceted business and leisure retreat situated just 30 minutes west of downtown Chicago. Oak Brook Hills recently changed flags to Hilton, and Karsten’s biggest challenge is conveying new brand standards while exceeding guest expectations.
“My first experience with the property was as a 10-year-old helping deliver special customized bars of soap with my mom who worked for Dial,” said Karsten, who currently resides in Oswego, Illinois with his wife and two children. “Like I was back then, I am delighted by the consistent warm reception our guests receive from staff, a core quality we aim to achieve on a daily basis.”
Karsten’s professional journey in hospitality has taken him full circle to Oak Brook Hills, where he is among a strong new leadership team that’s seeking to make it one of the most successful and prominent resorts and conference centers in the Midwest.
“It begins with building a strong team,” declared Karsten, who was empowered with hand-picking his own sales staff. “When we initially came aboard right before the conversion to Hilton, the hotel was an independent and had minimal group business on the books. Since that time, we have employed an amazing, tenured management staff that is driven and focused on reclaiming the hotel’s glory days, when it was widely known as the most luxurious resort and event facility in Chicagoland.”
Now, Karsten says Oak Brook Hills is seeking to regain the rich public awareness it used to have. “We transitioned the property to Hilton in a matter of 18 weeks, a feat that should have taken 18 months,” Karsten proudly admitted. “It has been an eye-opening experience that, with the support of the Hilton Corporation and the property’s new owner, Portfolio Hotels & Resorts, we have been able to accomplish in a remarkably short amount of time.”
Over the last four months, Karsten and his team have instilled new brand standards that include cutting-edge technology and a fresh philosophy that embraces the local community. Looking ahead, a multi-million dollar, property-wide rehab is commencing within the next couple of weeks, improving nearly every aspect of Oak Brook Hills beginning with the public space. Also in the works for 2015 are new eco-friendly developments to the hotel’s 150-acre estate, home to the Audubon-certified 18-hole championship Willow Crest Golf Club, including: the installation of beehives to enhance sustainable culinary operations, a working farm and chef’s garden, and a Monarch butterfly sanctuary.
“Oak Brook Hills is headed in an exciting direction,” added Karsten, who sees 2015 oozing with opportunity and 2016 pegged as a “banner” year for business. “We have the right pieces in place in order to achieve our goal of being the first choice in the suburbs for business, social, or individual travelers alike.”
About Karsten’s background:
A native of Owego, Illinois, Karsten graduated from Roosevelt University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality and Tourism. Karsten pursued his first role as a professional hotelier as an Events/Convention Sales Manager role with Hiltons of Chicagoland (Hilton Chicago, Palmer House Hilton, Hilton O’Hare). From there, he went on to become the Assistant Director of Sales at the Holiday Inn Select in Naperville, on his way to becoming their Director of Sales. After excelling in sales generation at the Holiday Inn, Karsten took a position as Director of Sales & Marketing at the Hyatt Lisle, and then at Millennium Knickerbocker, before being recruited by Portfolio Hotels & Resorts as the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center. Karsten most recently became the newest board member of the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau.
About Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center:
Just west of downtown Chicago and nestled into the quiet suburb of Oak Brook, Illinois, Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center (3500 Midwest Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523) is a preferred destination for getaways, golf trips, family vacations, weddings and business events. With over 42,500 square feet of IACC certified meetings and event space, the hotel is an ideal venue for business meetings, conferences, retreats, banquets and social functions. The 348 rooms and 38 suites are complemented by extensive and flexible event space including a tented outdoor pavilion, exercise facilities, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, numerous dining options, and the award-winning Willow Crest Golf Club. The property is managed by Westmont-based Portfolio Hotels & Resorts. Visit www.oakbrookhillsresort.com for reservations or more information, or call the hotel direct at 630.850.5555.