2010 Outstanding Young Alumnus
With the accolades and accomplishments Matt Squires (Hotel and Restaurant Management '01) has earned, it's obvious he not only loves what he does, he's really good at it.
He's passionate about customer service and his numerous nominations and awards prove it. Among others, Squires has been awarded the Meeting Professionals International Rising Star Award and Delta Hotel Manager of the Year award, and is SAIT's 2010 Outstanding Young Alumnus.
It's understandable Squires would thrive in an energetic industry as he's not one to sit — or for that matter even stand — still. Until July 2010, Squires was the youngest president ever for the Calgary chapter of Meeting Professionals International — an organization of over 19,000 members worldwide that represent those involved in the convention and meeting industry. In addition to being the director of sales for Service Plus Inns and Suites, he's an occasional instructor at post-secondary institutions, including SAIT, is a partner and business director for his own event-management/marketing agency, Somnio Creative, which he says allows him to more fully express his creative side.
Matt Squires, Director of Sales, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino
"I have been at the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino for almost two years. It's fantastic how much we have grown the hotel. We are now one of the busiest hotels in Alberta. Even with the recession, we are meeting and exceeding our figures. Rather than experiencing layoffs, we are growing. I started in a team of two. Now it's a team of seven. It's been exciting to be a part of something that is growing in leaps and bounds.
With the ring-road expansion, the (Tsuut'ina) Nation sees some real opportunity: hotels, convention space, spas. It's great to be involved at the beginning and seeing where I am five or 10 years from now. The cultural aspect is a real draw for guests, as well. Often, clients will ask that an elder attend their event. They will do a smudge ceremony and we've incorporated drumming and dancing into events, as well as art exhibits. We're unique in that guests step into a four-star resort that also features a highly personal cultural experience.
On the personal side, I have four little ones now. My newest one — four-month-old Riley —I just had with Melissa. We were newly engaged when I received my Outstanding Young Alumni award in 2010. The baby is the newest light of my life. And my oldest is now eight and the twins are seven, so that has kept me pretty busy as well."