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Stephanie Pinto is Group Director of Sales for Interstate Hotels and Resorts, covering over 70 hotels across the UK and Ireland. (Holiday Inn Leicester is one of the 70!)

I sat down with her earlier this week ahead of the annual Interstate Commercial Conference to ask her a few questions and get some insight into her work and home life.

Tell us about your professional experience and background working in the hospitality industry?

I entered the hospitality industry as a waitress whilst backpacking, and then 25 years ago a General Manager felt I would make a good Sales Manager – perhaps that was my performing arts training! I never looked back, and started working for branded hotels, then country house hotels, and selling media advertising and exhibition space to hotels. Then, I joined Interstate.

Describe a working day in your shoes?

Every day is different. One day I might be in one of our hotels, supporting the sales team, and the next day I could be developing a sales initiative or attending a meeting with one of our hotel owners. Technology allows us to work anywhere and I have never been a person who likes the 9-5 routine and to be office-based!

What do you love the most about your current job? 

The variety and the people. People who thrive in hotels are passionate about the industry. The most satisfying part of the job is when you see a sales person develop. How we sell today is very different to when I first started out and I love to learn from those I work with. I have been fortunate to have worked with many great mentors in my career and when I see our sales people succeed, I hope I have played a small part in their development.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self if you could?

Don’t think everyone thinks like you! I have learnt a lot about different personality types in the last few years and how to adapt to get the best out of people. We talk a lot about lions, monkeys, dolphins and elephants at Interstate. Fundamentally, I haven’t changed but how I engage with different people has.

What do you do to relax in your spare time?

I love to travel, and most recently I have gone on a series of trekking holidays, stepping out of my comfort zone and meeting fascinating people and seeing the most incredible sights. I feel very privileged. Other passions are my family, dance and Interstate’s walking group!

If you could choose one thing off your bucket list to do today, what would it be?

I would book tickets to see a ballet at the Royal Opera House.

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