Insights from BITAC Purchasing & Design East

By David Berman | July 12, 2023

Hospitality industry executives descended on Omni Amelia Island in Fernandina Beach, Florida, this week for BITAC Purchasing & Design East.

The event took place from July 9-11, attracting executive level purchasing decision-makers, specifiers and project managers from top design, architectural and purchasing firms and hotels and resorts. The attendees enjoyed two days of one-on-one meetings, insightful educational sessions and recreation with their peers.

One aspect of the event was a brief session where attendees shared the best advice they’ve ever given or received. Attendees were grouped by table, and a representative from each group shared the collected nuggets of wisdom with the whole audience. 

Tonya Almallah, Director of Brand Partnerships at NewGround, said her table talked about never burning a bridge, as one never knows who they’ll be working with in life. Another piece of advice was “do it now, not later.”

“Just do it,” Almallah said. “We never know what’s going to happen. I think the pandemic taught us a lot of that, so just do it.”

Next, Barry Walz, Industrial Account Manager at Hafele America, said that failure is okay, it’s just how you react to it. He also mentioned that his group said not to say “have a good day,” but to make a good day. 

Tejal Patel, President & CEO at Neem Tree Hospitality, said the underlying theme in all of her group’s responses is resiliency. 

“If you’re going to do something, then do it with your heart or don’t do it at all,” Patel said. “It’s okay to not like things but take your time to give things a chance. “There’s a million reasons why it won’t work out, but focus on the one reason that it will.”

Madeline Comeaux, Procurement Manager at InterMountain Renovations, said the two common themes in her group were positivity and leadership. One of the shared mottos was to be nice to everybody because you never know what is going on in their lives. 

“A leader creates a leader,” she said. “Your success is based on the people that you create. So from a management perspective, take pride in what your people are succeeding at, not necessarily your successes, because their success is your success.”


David Berman

David joined Hotel Interactive at the start of 2023. He previously worked as a page editor for Gannett’s Design Center and the editor-in-chief of The Daily Nebraskan. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with degrees in journalism, marketing and advertising/public relations in 2022.

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