Michelle Stromberg Ohlhaber, Chicago Hospitality Professional of the Month (August 2016)

August 6th, 2016 | hereschicago
Michelle Stromberg Ohlhaber

Michelle Stromberg Ohlhaber

Here’s our interview with Michelle Stromberg Ohlhaber, Publisher of Where Magazine and this month’s Chicago Hospitality Professional of the month (August 2016)

First and foremost, can you tell us your current position, company and describe what you do?

Publisher of Where Magazine

What aspects of hospitality do you incorporate in your business today?

All aspects of hospitality—it is so important to be kind, friendly, warm & available to clients

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?

When I moved to Chicago in 1989, and began working at Neiman Marcus. I have always loved working & engaging with people and making lifelong friends.

How many years have you been in the hospitality business?


Why do you feel you are hospitality professional of the month? What would your friends say about you if they were nominating you?

Michelle is a warm & caring person who puts her heart & soul into all she does!

What qualities to you feel a person needs to excel in as a hospitality professional?

Outgoing, problem-solver, independent thinker, multi – tasker, warm & friendly

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

My parents

What kinds of things really make you laugh?

Saturday Night Live always makes me laugh out loud

What’s your favorite place in the entire world?

I love Reykjavik, Iceland

What is your favorite movie of all time? Why so?

Braveheart – It’s all about being courageous, never giving up & being true to yourself

What’s your biggest goal in life right now?

To be the Best Mom I can be for my 14 year old son, Carl Roy

What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday?

Take a long walk – explore & have spontaneous adventures

Do you have any pet peeves?

No, life is too short—let it go

What was your family like growing up?


What were you like as a kid?

Adventurous, outgoing & competitive

What should I know about you that I’d never think to ask about?

My first name is Ann

Did you—or do you—have a nickname? What’s the story behind it?

MOM—my office staff –calls me that!

Have you received any praise or accolades recently?

Not enough! 

What type of events you plan?

A wide variety– from small dinners of 25 guests – to our big Where Chicago Expo 2016

What type of music do you love?

All music, 80’s music makes me very happy!

What don’t people know about you?

I was born in the Netherlands

What do you love about planning events in Chicago?

So many great venues to choose from –all unique & special – and working with fantastic individuals

What is your favorite restaurant or bar (Personally)?

The jewel in the crown of The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cindy’s

When not working, what do you love to do?

Cheer my son on at football or basketball games that he is playing in

Have you ever sung karaoke? If so, what song?

Love Shack – B-52’s

What does it take to be a successful event planner?

Excellent organizational skills, Great customer follow up, Know the marketplace, Attention to detail, Listen to your client, Be diplomatic with all departments

What is your favorite color?


What are you passionate about?


What do you recommend for others who want to get into the hospitality profession?

Research, Study, Ask questions, Do internships, Find Mentors

Do you have any Association affiliations?

Yes, I am Board Member of Magnificent Mile Association, Chicago Loop Alliance, & IHLA Educational Foundation. I am a Member of Choose Chicago, River North Business Association, National Concierge Association, & Illinois Restaurant Association.

Are you a Cubs or Sox fan?


What’s your go-to meal when you’re home alone?

Almonds, carrots & hummus

What’s your favorite thing about your hometown?

I grew up in Wilton, Connecticut –close to NY and a lovely community

Which book(s) have you read multiple times?

Class by, Paul Fussell

What’s on your bucket list?

I love to travel –so lots of places I want to see such as the Galapagos Islands, & walk on the Great wall of China.  I would love to tour Israel

What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve had?

I am shameless! 

What was your First concert?


If you had to go back to school or learn a new skill, what would you want to learn?


What are your thoughts about Hereschicago.com?

Fantastic organization! Jim Grillo is THE BEST!

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