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Building Business Relationships through Corporate Giving

Eden Prairie, MN, December 2016 … Deck the lobby, trim the tree, host an array of company parties and pop the corks for the annual New Year’s Eve gala.  ‘Tis the season for hoteliers to be busy with celebrations and resolutions to make the coming year the most prosperous ever. The holidays are also a time to reflect on the hotel’s traditional role as a center of community life and how best to give back to the community. “A generous check made out to a local charity is much appreciated,” says       Mike Schugt, president, Teneo Hospitality Group, “but those of us in the hospitality industry have the resources and creativity to make contributions that are personal, address needs within our communities, and are meaningful.”

 Teneo Hospitality Group believes that giving back in the spirit of the holidays is appropriate and can greatly benefit the company that is giving, even more than the recipient. Apart from being its own reward, corporate social outreach can raise a company’s profile, attract positive media and investor attention, enhance teamwork and build bridges between management, employees and the local community.

“In fact, corporate giving is such a valuable tool, we have made it an integral part of our business model and a year ‘round effort,” continues Mr. Schugt.  “Our business is built on developing relationships between meeting planners and our hotels and DMC members who serve them.  Teneo’s charitable outreach is designed to bring those groups together through a series of interactive events that offer a direct benefit to the community in which we do business.”

Teneo hosts over 20 events per year in locations across the US and Latin America.  Local meeting planners are invited to meet and network with Teneo member hotels and DMC representatives. There’s great food, entertainment and a chance to meaningfully help a local charity while networking at the same time. Since most of the companies’ charities are geared toward helping children in need, Teneo designed back-to-school events, where the company purchased backpacks and filled them with needed school supplies. These included pens, pencils, crayons, markers, notebooks, and more. Planners are given a backpack and go to each table, where they connect with a hotelier who then adds an item to the backpack, until all backpacks are filled.  It’s simple, fun and effective, and brings needed school supplies to children who may otherwise go without.

In some cases, instead of giving school supplies, Teneo has provided toiletries or pairs of shoes for children at local homeless shelters.

Most companies cannot donate millions of dollars. But they can create innovative, cost-effective programs that benefit local communities in a targeted and meaningful way, while involving employees and clients.

“This year, our programs have benefited at risk children in numerous US cities. Charities included Covenant House, Special Olympics and several local shelters and clothing programs for children in need,” says Schugt.  “At our recent Summit in Mexico we contributed backpacks filled with necessities to two local charities that aid children.  The backpacks are both attractive and practical, and their contents are greatly appreciated. We donated 100 pairs of shoes to the St. Anthony Free Clothing Program in San Francisco – just in time for the kids’ return to school.”

Clients agree that these events are unique – and fun. “My personal award was for Most Creative and Thoughtful Charity Event,” wrote one meeting planner.  Said another, “I loved being part of something bigger in giving back to the community.”  

In the New Year, Teneo hopes to expand the company’s programs and partnerships, bringing more meetings professionals and Teneo members together, helping disadvantaged kids and leaving something meaningful behind in each place they visit.

Photo Details: (L to R):
Claudia Gunter - Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort
Erin Maughan - Talking Stick Resort
Nicholas Zazzera - Deco Productions
Constanza Thornton - Teneo Hospitality Group
Mike Schugt - Teneo Hospitality Group
Mayte Kubicsko - Cosmopolitan Incentives
Jeanne Crane - Fiesta Americana Grand Meetings Mexico
Jenny De Borja - DRP International
Karinna Rivas - Lotte New York Palace
Pamela Castro - SLS Brickell

About Teneo Hospitality Group

Teneo Hospitality Group represents over 300 independent and branded hotels, resorts and DMCs around the world. Teneo is a Latin word meaning to know, understand and persevere. This maxim informs the company’s mission and its successful track record of global expansion. In just three years, Teneo has grown into a prominent industry player. The company continues to expand its staff of hospitality sales professionals, whose resumes span major hotel brands, independent properties and top travel destinations.

Contact: Ken Ellens / 201-758-2864

Contact: Anne Sweeney / 732-329-6629

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