Travel Industry ‘Top Advocate’ Roger Dow Honors 2022 Leader Class at HSMAI Sales Forum


Roger Dow, who helped lift the US travel industry out of its post-9/11 slump and to new heights, then helped guide the industry through the COVID-19 pandemic and the position for a rebound, will receive the Lifetime Achievement in Sales Award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) at its 2022 Sales Leaders Forum on October 20 in Frisco, Texas.

Dow will be recognized at an awards ceremony that will also honor Paul PapadopoulosCorporate Director of National Sales at Atrium Hospitality, and Alex Biondi, Regional Sales Manager for Aimbridge Hospitality, as Off-Property and On-Property Sales Professionals of the Year, respectively. HSMAI will also present the top Selling Educator of the Year award to Katie Davinassociate professor in the College of Hospitality Management at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island

Roger Dow

After serving in the US Army in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division, Roger Dow began a successful 34-year career with Marriott International, eventually becoming senior vice president of worldwide and field sales. In 2005, with the travel industry still finding its footing after the September 11 attacks, the US Travel Association tapped Dow to be its next president and CEO.

Although he often joked that he had no lobbying experience prior to taking the job at US Travel, Roger brought attributes to the position that have served the travel industry well: a keen sense of business, an extensive network of contacts and decades of experience. These strengths, complemented by his natural leadership ability and constant optimism, proved essential in guiding the travel industry in the United States through the post-9/11 travel crisis and, two decades later, the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. In the years between these two crises, the industry recorded a record number of inbound visits for 10 consecutive years (2009-2019).

Roger resigned as President and CEO of US Travel on July 31, 2022, but he is not “retiring” from the industry; Instead, he’s starting a new business to tackle the two biggest travel challenges he sees on the horizon: workforce recruitment and retention, and sustainability. With his relentless focus on improving the travel industry and growing it, Roger is a most deserving recipient of the HSMAI Lifetime Achievement Award.

Paul Papadopoulos

In his 22-year sales career, Paul Papadopulos, HSMAI’s 2022 Off-Property Sales Professional of the Year, has never forgotten the most basic lesson in travel and hospitality: make the happy customer. Stories abound of his hands-on, personal approach to handling guest complaints, introducing guests to new options, and creating win-win situations for guests and hotels.

Currently Corporate Director of National Sales for Atrium Hospitality, Paul began his hospitality and travel career in Boston with Westin Hotels and Resorts, where he held several operational roles. He eventually moved into sales, joining the team at the Bostonian Hotel and later held sales positions at Fisher Hotels, Carlson Hospitality and John Q. Hammon Hotels before joining Atrium Hospitality. He joined Atrium’s corporate team in Atlanta in 2017 to launch Atrium’s national sales efforts.

As he took on more responsibility and leadership, Paul “shared the wealth” by developing tools and programs to teach his colleagues how to work with clients. For example, he created sales programs for two markets he supports (youth sports teams and airline crews) and compiled detailed manuals for both programs to teach onsite associates and offsite salespeople. property how to work with customers who buy in these two markets. . He is currently working on a companion video resource to teach general managers and field sales managers how to conduct an airline crew site inspection.

Alex Biondi

Although she’s only been in the hospitality industry for five years, Alex Biondi, HSMAI’s 2022 Sales Professional of the Year, has already mastered the art of building relationships, both with guests and internally. Currently Regional Sales Manager for Aimbridge Hospitality, she hasn’t lost the personal touch she developed while working as a front desk agent in her first position in the hospitality industry.

Alex got her start in sales as a sales coordinator at Hyatt Place Pittsburgh/Cranberry. She quickly moved up, becoming Sales Manager and then Regional Sales Manager, overseeing three properties in different states and markets. As she rose through the ranks, she impressed her colleagues with her ability to spot new business opportunities. This skill became especially visible during the COVID-19 pandemic, when she cultivated relationships with traveling nurses and out-of-state construction crews who were helping local construction projects.

Alex has also developed an eye for talent and a desire to cultivate it. After working with a guest services agent at one of her hotels, Alex groomed her to become a sales manager; she also hired another sales coordinator and inspired that person to take on a sales manager role in a tough market. She sees a bright future for herself in hotel sales and shares that passion with others by modeling the opportunities the industry can bring.

Katie Davin

“I worked in hospitality in high school, and my mom was like, ‘You know, you can go to college to do that,'” Katie Davin, HSMAI’s first sales educator of the year, told an interviewer. “I went to Cornell and got a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration, thinking I wanted a career in the restaurant business.”

Since then, Katie’s path has taken a few twists and turns, but her interest in the hotel and restaurant industry has never wavered. She received management training at Marriott, worked in food services, then moved into food service sales and group sales at four different Marriott properties. Eventually, she decided she wanted to teach, so she returned to Cornell and earned a graduate degree in hotel administration.

Katie spent over 20 years at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, where she is an Associate Professor in the College of Hospitality Management. She teaches courses in hotel sales, marketing and hotel management, sharing her enthusiasm for hospitality with the leaders of tomorrow. She also sits on the HSMAI Sales Advisory Board and is a Certified Hospitality Sales Manager and Certified Digital Marketing Professional.

“It’s an honor to be part of the Sales Advisory Board,” she said during her interview. “I meet very accomplished hospitality sales professionals and see the industry at this level, and then I share that with my students.”


Awards will be presented at a Sales Awards Dinner following the HSMAI Sales Leaders Forum. The Sales Leader Forum advances the discipline of hotel sales by enhancing the knowledge and skills of off-property sales leaders by sharing important trends, critical insights and best practices, and what it means for sales teams hotel industry in today’s landscape.

HSMAI chapters and the industry as a whole can nominate individuals for the Lifetime Achievement in Sales and Sales Professional of the Year awards. Candidates represent the best talent in the discipline and are judged by a panel of sales leaders on a variety of criteria.

To interview an HSMAI spokesperson about the event and the winners, please contact Stuart Hales at [email protected]


HSMAI is a global organization of sales, marketing and revenue management professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry while functioning as a leading voice for the hospitality and sales, marketing and management disciplines. revenue, as well as to connect its members with customers. Founded in the United States in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization with nearly 5,000 members from 35 countries and chapters around the world. HSMAI operates regionally around the world through regional boards and staff. There are four regions: the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. Each region has signature programs and services for association members. HSMAI has a Global Board of Directors made up of delegates from each region.


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