Q&A with HSMAI president

Penny Allphin, the national sales manager for the Hassayampa Inn in Prescott, is president of the Arizona Chapter of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). She brings a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry — including positions with Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa, Carefree Resort & Villas, and Radisson Poco Diablo Resort — to her leadership role with HSMAI.
Az Business had the chance to talk with Allphin about her background and where she sees the hospitality industry growing in the future.

Az Business: What attracted you to the hospitality industry?
Penny Allphin: I have been in the hospitality industry since I was 17 years of age, so I would have to say I grew up in the industry.  There are never two days alike and there is never a dull moment – which keeps it exciting.

AB: What has been your biggest challenge in the hospitality industry?
PA: Right now it would be the economy; it has slowed down the group meetings and with Arizona being a destination and relies heavily on conventions, conferences and tourism – the industry has definitely felt the impact.

AB: What has been you most meaningful professional accomplishment?
PA: There has been so many; right now I would say becoming the president of HSMAI, being the face and the voice for an industry that I am passionate about.

AB: What is some about you that would surprise most people?
PA: I enjoy doing home improvement projects, not afraid to play with tools.

AB: How did you become involved in HSMAI Arizona?
PA: It was totally be accident. I was attending a function for tourism and Dick Degnan, HSMAI International Hall of Fame member, asked if I was going to the Chinese auction, that is the event of the year. I knew nothing about the event so he invited me and my colleague.  I have been involved ever since.

AB: What differentiates HSMAI from other tourism-related professional groups?
PA: The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue.

AB: What are your goals as president of HSMAI Arizona?
PA: This year my theme is M.A.G.I.C. – “Making Another Great Industry Comeback.” We as sales and revenue professionals in Arizona need to be the best in the country, we need to put Arizona back on the map for meeting, conventions and conferences – we have slated amazing speakers and programs to educate and inspire to continue to sharpen our skills.

AB: What kind of legacy do you hope to leave after your term as president of HSMAI Arizona?
PA: Passionate.  She lives and leads passionately.