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Phone: 760-994-9266

Bev Kordsmeier, Hyatt Salesí First Lady

David Brudney & Associates- Hospitality Marketing Consultants
David M. Brudney, ISHC, a nationally recognized spokesman for hotels and a veteran with four decades of experience, is the principal of David Brudney & Assoc. of Carlsbad, CA

By David M. Brudney, ISHC April 2004

(One of the many tributes to Beverly A. Kordsmeier, who passed away April 8th, wife of Joseph G. Kordsmeier, retired Senior V.P. Sales & Marketing, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts)

It just didnít seem right.

Here we all were, helping Joe, family and friends celebrate Bev Kordsmeierís life at the Presidentís House in a Hyatt Regency, and no mention of Bev and Hyatt.

Bev was a big part of everything Hyatt was and what it became and none of us who were there back then will ever forget that.

If Joe was in fact, the "president" of Hyatt Sales for more than a decade, then Bev was surely the First Lady.  Joe was the leader of our sales force and Bev was to Joe what Douglas MacArthurís wife, Jean, was to him: "the generalís general." 

While Joe was out there in the trenches, making Hyatt a legitimate player in the big time convention arena, building a great team to sell those spectacular new hotels, Bev was right there with him.  Bev and Joe were Hyatt Salesí first celebrities everywhere they went, no matter what trade show or industry gathering.  Everyone knew them or wanted to know them, government and union leaders, the NFL, association execs, meeting planners, CVB officials and hotel people worldwide.  Joe and Bev put a "face" on Hyatt Hotels at a time when we really had none.

Those of us close to Joe during those years knew only too well how important Bev was to him.  Bev was Joeís number one advisor.  She was both Joeís harshest critic and his biggest supporter.  She always spoke her mind, always "telling it like it is."  She had a great gift for reading people.  She could spot a phony a mile away - - and never hesitated to tell Joe so.  She helped Joe in recruiting sales associates, in closing multi-Hyatt hotel bookings, and with every important business decision he made.

Joe turned to Bev not only for strength and courage but so many times to recharge his battery.  He was always stronger, fresher, wiser and so very optimistic after he and Bev were able to steal some time together.

Joe was so accessible to everyone in Sales back in the Ď70s that he didnít have a lot of time to be with Bev.  Iím sad to say that I can speak from personal experience.  I was one of the biggest "time-robbers."  So many times I would call Joe at home in Atherton or Burr Ridge, venting frustrations, seeking both his advice and approval, and taking him away from his private time with Bev.

When we traveled together on business I would always want to talk with him about all the icons he knew so well, Lombardi, Rozelle, Hunt, Hoffa and Meany.  But Joe always found a way to bring the conversation back to Bev.  He had such joy in talking about her.  He adored her.  She was his best friend.  I learned so much about Bev just from listening to Joe talk about her. 

Speaking for all of Joe and Bevís "Hyatt family," saying our final farewells was very difficult.  We all felt such a sense of helplessness in not being able to be more, to do more there for Joe and his immediate family.

Iím reminded of the story of the little girl who came home late from school one day.  When her mother asked why she was so late the little girl told her that she was with her best friend.  It seems her friend had brought a porcelain China doll, a special gift to her family, to school that day for "show and tell" and as the two girls were walking home after school, the friend tripped and dropped the China doll on the sidewalk, breaking into a hundred pieces.

"So," the mother said.  "Youíre late because you stayed to help your friend pick up all the pieces of the China doll?"

"No, mother," she said.  "Iím late because I stayed to help my friend cry."

And so just like that little girl in the story, all of us will be late tonight, Joe, because weíre here to help you cry.

© Copyright 2004 


About David Brudney & Associates

David M. Brudney has become a charter member of Laguna Strategic Advisors and was a founding member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants. Brudney is a veteran sales-and-marketing professional concluding his fifth decade of service to the hospitality industry. Brudney advises lodging owners, lenders, asset managers and operators about hotel sales and marketing best practices and standards of care, and conducts reviews of sales-and-marketing operations throughout the world. Brudney is a professional speaker, teacher, mentor and sales trainer. Previously, Brudney held sales and marketing positions with Hyatt, Westin and Marriott.

Contact:  David M. Brudney, Principal
David Brudney & Associates
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Phone:  760-994-9266
Email David Brudney
Web Site:   www.DavidBrudney.com

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