New Director Does Homework, Gets High Marks
What do NBA basketball stars, movie executives, and President Obama all have in common? They all have been clients of Sue Manzi, LCC’s new Director of Conference Services.
Manzi comes to UCLA with more than 23 years of experience at luxury hotels such as the Westwood Marquis, the Four Seasons, Los Angeles, and most recently, the Beverly Wilshire.
A graduate of the Hotel, Restaurant & Travel Management Program at Cal Poly Pomona, Manzi brings with her an understanding of customers in the luxury market. “They have very high expectations for attentive, personalized service, the best quality products, and excellence in all aspects of their guest and meeting experiences,” says Manzi.
While some may think that a university conference center is very different from a luxury hotel, Manzi will tell you that success in either environment depends on getting to know your guests and paying attention to the little things that make them feel comfortable and special. She also recognizes that there will be an expectation from LCC guests that UCLA is about excellence, and that is what she and her team will deliver.
She credits her success to getting to know her clients and using that info to give them a personal touch during their visits. “You take the time to do your homework before their arrival,” says Manzi. “You find out that they like Starbucks or prefer to wake up to jazz or like their podium set up a certain way. And I ensure that my team makes it happen.”
So why would a successful Conference Services Director come to UCLA? “After so many years managing in hotels, I see coming to the Luskin Conference Center as a way to give back my industry experience to help a new place succeed,” relates Manzi. “I’m also excited to get to build my own team — to hand-pick individuals that share my high expectations and have a passion for their work. People who love what they do help make themselves and their organizations successful.”
Another reason Manzi loves working at UCLA is being involved in meaningful endeavors. “At hotels, we used to say that what we do is not a ‘matter of life and death’,” she says. “But at UCLA, conference guests at the LCC may very well be working on issues and innovations that are a matter of life and death. It’s very exciting and I am looking forward to being a part of it all.”