Brittany Cortina – Chicago Hospitality Professional of the Month (February 2017)February 23rd, 2017 | hereschicago
Here’s our interview with Brittany Cortina, Director of Sales for Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours and this month’s Chicago Hospitality Professional of the month (February 2017)
What aspects of hospitality do you incorporate in your business today?
We treat all of our clients like they are guests in our home. We strive for the highest level of customer service and try to make each person that walks through our door feel special. We named ourselves Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours because whatever our client’s questions are, our answer is “absolutely we can.”
Where did your hospitality career begin and when was that “aha” moment when you knew you were supposed to be in hospitality as a career?
I was in Grant Park when I witnessed a worker treating a tourist client terribly. I was so frustrated with their actions that I called my mom to complain about this stranger’s hospitality and customer service skills. I still reflect on that moment and allow it to inform the way I work with my guests today.
How many years have you been in the hospitality business?
I have 9 years of hospitality experience in tourism; I also worked in restaurants for the 5 years before that.
Why do you feel you are hospitality professional of the month? What would your friends say about you if they were nominating you?
I am very honored that I am the hospitality professional of the month because of the many deserving people in the Chicago hospitality industry that shine and bring so much to the table! I hope that my friends would say that I do everything in my power to help everyone succeed with their programs and initiatives so that we can all be most hospitable and give our clients five-star service. We are all stronger together.
What qualities do you feel a person needs to excel in as a hospitality professional?
You need to be able to think outside of the box and treat every guest the way you would want someone else to treat the person who is most special to you.
How did you get into hospitality field?
I was crouched down tying my shoe, and I met one of my nearby neighbors who happened to own a tour company. He offered me a job and the rest was history.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents have been the major influence in my life. They have selflessly given everything they can to anyone in need. They are thoughtful, kind, generous, and have made it their mission to teach me everything they know. I would not be where I am today if they had not mentored me and given me wings to fly.
What kinds of things really make you laugh?
Good old fashioned sarcasm and impressions.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
An ocean front beach, I love the sound of waves and the smell of salt.
What is your favorite movie of all time? Why so?
This week my favorite movie is My Cousin Vinny. The one liners are classic.
What’s your biggest goal in life right now?
Growing Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours’ business while ensuring the same quality of service and safety that we exhibit today.
What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
I love a busy Saturday at Segway when our biggest concern is the number of Segways we have. There is something wonderful about walking out the door after a busy day and knowing that you could not have done anything more.
What was your family like growing up?
My family was very loving with just enough sarcasm to keep things interesting.
What were you like as a kid?
I was very inquisitive and am told now that I asked way too many questions!
What should I know about you that I’d never think to ask about?
Most times I would rather go hungry than eat a salad.
Have you received any praise or accolades recently?
Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours received the Trip Advisor certificate of excellence for 4 years running, while maintaining a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place rating amongst Chicago tours.
What type of events you plan? We don’t really focus on events but we frequently custom tailor tours to meet the needs of guests who want a very personalized experience that they will never forget.
What type of music do you love?
Ballads, Indie, and Classic Rock
What don’t people know about you?
I used to be a very competitive horse rider.
What is your favorite restaurant or bar (Personally)?
What an incredibly hard question! Chicago may be the best city to eat and drink in. Each positive culinary experience offers a little piece of magic that is unique and extraordinary. If I had to pick one restaurant, I would have to pick The Gage because my husband and I met at the bar. They also have wonderful food and drinks, but the nostalgia is seals the deal for me on that one.
When not working, what do you love to do?
I love most things! Reading is spectacular, riding a bike is exhilarating, eating is always a great idea, painting can never lead you astray. In short, I love life and the many experiences that it offers.
Besides your professional talent, do you have any personal talents? (Play guitar, etc.)
I am a painter and love to participate in shows and exhibits.
What is your favorite color?
What are you passionate about?
What do you recommend for others who want to get into the hospitality profession?
Try to eject no from your vocabulary and place your client’s needs above your own. As Marshall Field said: “The customer is always right” and “Give the lady what she wants.”
Do you have any Association affiliations?
I am representative for Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours, who is an affiliate of the National Hotel Concierge Association, Magnificent Mile Association, and the Chicago Loop Alliance.
Are you a Cubs or Sox fan?
I am a huge Chicago fan. I try not to pick favorites, but if I had to choose a preferred baseball team I would choose the Sox. I am thrilled that Chicago’s Cubbies won the World Series.
What’s your go-to meal when you’re home alone?
Greek yogurt, strawberries, and honey nut cheerios all in one bowl. It’s easy, delicious and filling – the perfect trifecta.
What’s on your bucket list?
Traveling and helping to solve the literacy deficit with at-risk youth.
What was your First concert?
My first concert was not notable, but I went to see Kiss instead of going to my senior prom.
If you had to go back to school or learn a new skill, what would you want to learn?
I would like to be fluent with the entire Adobe Creative Suite.
What are your thoughts about Hereschicago.com?
It is an excellent resource for any industry professional. Jim loves Chicago, and his love for the city shines through his website Here’s Chicago. The organization does a fabulous job of bringing suppliers, buyers, and other industry professionals together.