How I Got Here — Jeff Spaccio, Tambourine

Jeff Spaccio is vice president of sales and strategic partnerships for Tambourine and a member of HSMAI’s Marketing Advisory Board:

I actually fell into the hospitality business. I was going to the University of Central Florida and at that time there wasn’t a hospitality school, so I was going for my bachelor’s degree in business administration. I needed a job, so I started working at a hotel. I started at the front desk, quickly moved into reservations, and by the time I was 21, while I was still in college, I had a sales-manager position offered to me. And I just kind of fell in love with it. So, I was very busy at that time in my life, both finishing up school and working full time.

I was fast-tracking with the company — Performance Hospitality Management, a management group that had that property — although I did get pulled away by my dad into his investment business for a year. I enjoyed it, but always had a love for the hospitality business, so I got back into it. I had a property job as a sales manager in South Florida and was recruited by Hilton Hotels Corp. into a number of different property positions. I did business travel sales, assistant director of sales, and ultimately director of sales and marketing.

I was always passionate about property work but started to look above property into area roles and multiunit roles. My first job managing multiunit was with a company called Westmont Hospitality. Then I got recruited by Pyramid Hotel Group. I wanted to get back to South Florida and Pyramid had a big Hilton down there, and I knew they were going to be expanding. I moved into an area role, then into a regional role, and then went to work directly in the corporate office in more of a strategic asset role, where I did quite a bit on the new builds and transitions side.

Pyramid exposed me to a number of hotels all over the country in my early 30s, really fast, and had a big impact on my understanding of above-property roles. But I was living between Las Vegas and Chicago and needed to get back to Florida, so I took a job in an area role with The Procaccianti Group in Fort Lauderdale. Then Tambourine came calling. I had done a lot of direct sales work, but eCommerce was always a passion of mine, so I was very interested when they came calling. The company had just started its growth spurt. We had been around for a while, but at that time we only had about a hundred properties that we were representing. I came on as the corporate director of sales and marketing, and my role was twofold: to educate our internal team as to what buyers of our products see and what their pain points are in the market, and then also to add an educational component to our client success teams, our account executives.

I feel really fortunate that we found each other, because we’re a hotel and resort company only. We don’t do anything else in the digital space. Two-and-a-half years ago we were hiring folks outside of the business. Now we don’t. We recruit from within the hospitality space only. All of our client success teams are CHDM-certified and will continue to be. A tech company with great artists and creatives married with the business side of marketing hotels — that’s why we’ve grown and will continue to.

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles