Daniel Lewellin started working in the hotel industry at age 15 at a small, limited-service property in Hinckley, Minnesota, where he was raisedand his first job was a houseman, thus he went into all of the dirty rooms and pulled the linens off the beds before the housekeepers got in to clean the rooms.
He quickly worked up the industry totem pole, ultimately in the sales department, "and fell in love with it," he said.
"My goal when moving to Chicago was to work downtown in a director roll and it took me a little while to accomplish, but hard work paid off in the end. I was offered the Director of Sales position to open the very first Hyatt Centric Hotel and naturally, I accepted.
"I get to oversee the entire sales and marketing efforts at the hotel when it comes to all types of travel whether it be group, transient or meetings/events. I am also involved in all of the marketing efforts that take place both on a property level and from a brand level as it relates to Hyatt and Hyatt Centric. It is a fun job and every day is another opportunity to be different and stand out."
He also is a big part in the reopening of the hotel's rooftop bar, AIRE, which opens May 11.
Lewellin said the best part of his job is getting to create "unique experience for those who are traveling and I get to be a part of their story when they go back home," he said.
The job, though, comes with stress, mostly from Lewellin "wanting everything to be perfect for everyone that comes to the hotel, whether it is a guest staying overnight or a meeting taking place. I am a perfectionist to a fault at times," he said.
"We have an amazing location in the heart of the loop and it is extremely popular, so managing all of the travel coming into the city is big part of what I do. I have a team that sells guest rooms and meeting space to groups coming into Chicago and we have to make sure that we are being strategic in our selling process to make sure we are taking the best opportunities available to destroy our competition. At the end of the day, it is all about creating relationships with our clients and making sure that we create the best experience possible."
Lewellin said the key to his career success has been by always learning.
"I am a sponge for knowledge and it isn't often that I have to be taught how to do something twice," he said. "I stay focused and keep myself grounded. I am also slightly obsessive compulsive, so keeping a schedule and making sure that each day is planned out in advance is essential. I try not to let stress run me over and I take look at every challenge as an opportunity."
* Age: 33
* Orientation: Gay
* Relationship status: "Single and looking"
* Neighborhood: Andersonville
* Job title: Director of sales, Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago
* Favorite TV show: Game of Thrones
* Favorite movie: The Hunger Games
* Hobbies: Live music and music festivals, craft beer, traveling, animals, movies, theater and shopping
* Volunteering: Has done such work for The Humane Society and PAWS Chicago
* Favorite app: Instagram
* Little-known fact: "I had a skunk, raccoons and deer as pets growing up."