Blog

Gina Gral- Member Spotlight of the Month

How long have you worked for the MIM? 5 spectacular months!  I started in June 2014.  Before MIM, I worked as a fundraiser for both Banner Health Foundation and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

Where are you originally from? Wisconsin, although I’m a disgrace to my homeland because I do not enjoy beer or football.

What is one thing that most people do not know about you? At one time, I worked as a magician’s assistant and have been cut into 6 pieces several times!

Abount Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is the world’s only global musical instrument museum, displaying more than 6,000 musical instruments and artifacts from around the world.  MIM provides a one-of-a-kind event experience for special events, with 40,000 square feet of beautiful event spaces, incomparable entertainment and cultural exhibits, and culinary delights from around the world presented by our wonderful catering partner, Bon Appetit.  In addition to special events, MIM serves the community through education, public programs and cultural experiences.

 In her role, Gina is responsible for driving event sales opportunities in addition to organizing and executing extraordinary meetings, receptions, weddings, galas and many other celebrations .  She enjoys connecting with people and developing relationships with clients while helping to spread the mission of the Musical Instrument Museum. 

 A few of MIM’s notable accomplishments:

 MIM was recently rated #1 of 128 Phoenix attractions on Trip Advisor

MIM will celebrate its 5th anniversary in April of 2015 and will have seen more than one million visitors come through its doors

MIM welcomes more than 30,000 school children annually on immersive educational field trips

MIM launched its inaugural (and successful!) global music festival, MIMFest, in October 2014, with plans already in place for year 2 in November 2015

MIM produces more than 150 concerts per year by artists from around the world in our acoustically superb music theater

MIM features monthly cultural and public programs enabling guests to experience far-away places like Italy, India, China and more.

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Meet Member Natalie Hall from the JW Marriott Desert Ridge

Natalie Hall has been in Arizona since 1997, but really got off to a great start in Phoenix at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in 2002 as an opening team member & Event Management Assistant. She helped open the resort later that year and has been with them for over 12 years! Here is a little more about Natalie:

What is your favorite comfort food? This is difficult question to ask, because all foods should be comfortable.  In this industry you have to be willing to try everything!  But, if I had to pick a “go-to-make-me-feel-great anytime food” it would be the perfect Cheeseburger with Caramelized Onions and Crisp Bacon, served with a cold pickle spear and Jay’s Potato Chips… YUM!  Of course, a cold beer wouldn’t be turned away either. 

 Who, living or dead, would you most like to have a chat with? I would give anything to chat with my Dad.  I lived in Phoenix and he was in Chicago when he passed away so saying goodbye was too late when I arrived home.  We “chatted” all the time…never long conversation but often conversations.  Chats are great, by the way, it doesn’t take but 5 minutes to call someone and let them know you’re thinking of them and wish them well. 

 What are you reading? I go in spurts when it comes to reading…I sometimes read 4 books a month and sometimes go 4 months of nothing.  Right now I’m in “nothing” mode.  But I have a list of books that I just downloaded on my Nook that consist of authors James Patterson and Chef Marcus Samuelsson. 

What song do you most want to hear when working out? When I do what….????

 Do you have any hobbies? and what are they? Hobbies not really --- but we recently purchased bicycles so we all have them.  When the weather cools down, we like to take morning bike rides down the greenbelt, usually to grab breakfast or after-dinner bike rides to Sweet Republic for the best ice-cream in AZ! 

What is your favorite day of the week and why? I really enjoy Saturdays.  We usually enjoy breakfast at home and then do all our household chores (except for grocery shopping…I don’t grocery shop on weekends!)…sometimes take a nap and then go out for dinner or stay home and have a family movie night.  They best part…you still have Sunday!  

Do you have a favorite movie, or one you absolutely hate? I have a ton of favorite movies…I love when I’m home doing nothing and see a John Hughes movie listed in the TV Guide – 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink, Uncle Buck…they’re all awesome!

 What brings joy to your day? I have two things that bring joy to my day and their names our Brian and James J  I can’t imagine a day without my husband and son!    

 Tell us a little bit about you and your business? I moved from Chicago to Phoenix in 1997.  I started working for JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in January, 2002 as an opening team member & Event Management Assistant.  We opened our doors later that year on November 30, 2002.  So much has flourished in the 12 years that we’ve been operating, but I’m most excited to share from that first opening day to today there are over 150 employees that have been together from the beginning.  Currently I hold the position of Senior Catering Sales Executive.

 

The award-winning, AAA 4-Diamond JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa welcomes guests to its stunning 316 acres in the Sonoran Desert.  Our captivating resort in Phoenix takes you to a place where luxury, personal service, invigorating recreation and excellent dining are in abundance. Guest rooms and suites feature private balconies or patios with dramatic desert vistas, mountain views, and tech-friendly amenities. This premier resort also impresses with the award-winning Revive Spa and championship Wildfire Golf Club, Families, couples and friends will find a variety of activities designed for all ages, with many opportunities for memorable experiences together. Or just relax and enjoy each other's company indoors or outside on one of many patios with our inviting fire-pits overlooking the resort’s waterways. Among the leading North Phoenix, Arizona resorts, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is your one-stop vacation haven.  Visit us at www.marriott.com/phxdr

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