2017 Top Hat Spotlight – Brian Hatchitt

2017 Tourism Personnel of the Year

Brian Hatchitt

Director of Sales & Marketing – Albuquerque Convention Center

What was your first job in the hospitality industry?
I was hired – after 6 interviews – as a concierge at a super swanky resort in a town I knew nothing about. I lasted 5 days.

Who has helped/mentored you through your career?
I take lessons from everyone I work with, but honorable mention goes to Natalee Hoff, Tricia Hall, Laura Kesselman, Sally Casey, Anita Sahi, and of course el jefe – Jose Garcia (who has mostly taught me how to swear appropriately in mixed company).

What has been the highlight of your career?
My whole career has been a series of oops, oh crap, what the…?, and “I shouldn’t have said that…” But this industry and the people I have had the pleasure to meet, work with, serve and learn from have hands-down been, and continue to be, the highlight of my career. I get to love what I do and who I work with.

What is one thing you would tell young people entering the hospitality business?
Take it seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. We make major things happen in the communities we serve, but we should have fun doing it. Listen, absorb, be patient, and remember that you are in the business of making lifelong memories for people.

What are your favorite places to visit in New Mexico?
I am madly in love with Balloon Fiesta! I still haven’t been up in one (hint hint anyone?), but I love the early mornings, crowds of happy, awe-struck people, coffee and burritos, dancing volunteers directing traffic, the whole thing is just the best. Oh, and all the beer and wine in New Mexico. Love the beer and wine.