Travel Executive of the Month – Sara Kearney, SVP Brands, Hyatt

By Eva Leonard on 18 April 2012
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As senior vice president, brands for Hyatt, 25-plus-year Hyatt veteran Sara Kearney defines the customer experience for every Hyatt brand, and works to differentiate and communicate the positioning of Hyatt brands to guests, owners, and associates.

“I worked my way through college as a reservations agent working nights at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, and just never left!” Kearney recalls with typical modesty about her upward career trajectory.

Following her stint at Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Kearney worked for Hyatt properties in New York City, Chicago, and Oakbrook, Illinois, then joined Hyatt corporate as director of rooms. She also served as vice president of marketing operations for Hyatt International, spear-heading marketing for the Park Hyatt brand worldwide. In 2007, she was appointed to vice president sales and marketing, international operations, for Hyatt, and, in 2010, was named senior vice president of brands.


Teamwork, listening, learning, and sharing information are key for Kearney as she explains, “The most important thing I have learned in my career is that success is far more sustainable and rewarding when it is achieved through collaborating, internally, and externally. The best advice I have ever received is that listening is the most important skill you have – develop it and hone it! A voracious and passionate appetite for learning and sharing what is learned will make everything more interesting.”

And there is a lot to learn, as Hyatt’s expansion into new markets is accelerating at a rapid, global clip. “Approximately 70% of the projected new hotels will be located outside North America,” says Kearney.

Indeed, new Hyatt properties that have opened or are scheduled to open in 2012 include Andaz Amsterdam, Hyatt Regency Vladivostok, Golden Horn, Hyatt Vladivostok, Burny, Park Hyatt Hyderabad, Park Hyatt Chennai, Hyatt Place Pune-Hinjewadi, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, Park Hyatt Ningbo, Hyatt Regency Chongqing, and Hyatt Regency Qingdao.

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