Recognized as one of today’s top sales and marketing innovators, Bruce Himelstein is credited with leading the recent revitalization of the The Ritz-Carlton Company brand. A 37-year veteran of the hospitality industry, his career evolved from a humble beginning when, right out of college, he became bellman at the Americana Hotel in Albany, New York, and continued to his being named corporate vice president of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in 2002, following nearly 30 years with Marriott.

Over the course of the next seven years, he renewed and transformed the revered luxury brand to appeal to both its longtime clientele and to a new generation. Updating the image of a three-billion dollar brand and a pillar in the luxury marketplace wasn’t easy. It required supreme skill and knowledge to sell his ideas internally and to manage the changes on a global level. Determined to “blow the dust off the venerable brand’s Lion and Crown,” Himelstein implemented remarkable new branding strategies, showcasing Ritz-Carlton in innovative ways critical for staying relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Himelstein’s versatile background also includes leading Sales & Marketing for Marriott’s Senior Living Service division and serving as a board member for Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. His experience in healthcare, coupled with hospitality, brings an exciting combination of skills and expertise to his audiences.

Build (or re-build) Your Brand.
How do you flip the switch and make your brand more relevant?
Bruce Himelstein, the brains behind Ritz Carlton’s award-winning campaign to “blow the dust off the lion and crown”, reveals strategies to elevate your brand while staying true to it’s core character. How do you sell change internally? How do you harness the talents of your team, and find the most talented vendors? And how do you garner the guts and resiliency to stay the course? Himelstein uses the gift of a natural storyteller to give solid solutions and inspiring ideas for any organization.

Create a Customer Experience
Why do travelers chose Ritz-Carlton?
Because the customer experience at the Ritz is unmatched by any other hotel. But customer experience is not just a concern of the luxury sector. Any organization looking to win loyal customers and convert brand evangelists must pay attention to this concept. Bruce Himelstein, former SVP of sales and marketing for Ritz-Carlton, is an authority on using customer experience to elevate a brand and capture market share. His case studies and influential techniques are vital for bolstering any kind of brand.

Sales and Marketing in a Slump
When the economy ground to a halt, “luxury” became a dirty word.
Bad news for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, who immediately faced declining occupancy. Good news for Bruce Himelstein, former SVP of sales and marketing for Ritz-Carlton, who proved his mettle by quickly reacting with smart strategies. He’s been praised by The Wall Street Journal for helping Ritz-Carlton be the first luxury brand to reveal a solid marketing plan after the economic collapse. How did he do it? And how can his strategies work for your company? This presentation is not about luxury, but about gathering a talented team, making swift decisions, and staying true to your brand.

Full Biography

An award-winning 30 year veteran of the hospitality industry, Bruce J. Himelstein is a recognized authority on innovative brand marketing and creation of a luxury lifestyle image for the highest quality services and consumer products. As a speaker, his range of experience qualifies him to cover a range of topics from the importance of developing a culture of service, sales intensity and brand innovation.

Himelstein spent seven years as the dynamic sales and marketing leader behind many highly successful campaigns for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. As corporate senior vice president, sales and marketing, among his most notable accomplishments were his campaign to “Blow the dust off the Lion and Crown” at Ritz-Carlton, a company once known for its classic design and conservative approach to marketing the brand. He is prominently featured in Joseph Michelli’s New York Times Bestseller….”The New Gold Standard”.

Himelstein introduced a highly acclaimed global print advertising campaign to update the Ritz-Carlton image with customers. The campaign was recognized with multiple awards and moved both market share and hotel occupancy. He also assembled a team of award-winning Hollywood talents to produce a trio of cutting edge short films, featured as a highly successful web campaign. They were hailed for their quality and creativity from The Wall Street Journal and won the Platinum Award in 2008 from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMAI).

Prior to joining The Ritz-Carlton, he was a Senior Vice President of sales for Marriott International. From a beginning career as a hotel bellman to a recognized expert on sales and marketing breakthroughs, Himelstein offers his audience a wealth of experience firms will find both educational and inspirational, especially during a time when the global economic crisis has proven such a challenge for many companies trying to adjust their strategies to meet the changing marketplace.

As the brains behind hugely successful marketing campaigns for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Himelstein knows the luxury marketplace. But he also knows that the approach to branding a luxury business is the same approach to branding any level of good or service: you need a willingness to listen, a willingness to embrace change, and the guts to go the distance. Himelstein is a recognized authority on innovative brand marketing, covering a range of topics from the importance of developing a customer experience, to sales intensity, and hiring a talented team. He is a 37-year veteran of the hospitality industry, rising from hotel bellman to become Ritz Carlton’s senior vice president for sales and marketing. During Himelstein’s 30 years with Marriott, he managed the Sales & Marketing for Marriott’s Senior Living Service division which has contributed to his expertise in healthcare associated with hospitality.

Himelstein’s presentations embrace a natural gift for story-telling, and are filled with case studies of brands that embraced change, made strategic decisions quickly, and prospered in a rough economy. Creative, stylish, and savvy, it’s easy to see why Himelstein was named “One of The Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association. His perspective is relevant, educational, and receptive to the challenges of the changing marketplace.

Himelstein has been profiled in Lodging Magazine’s Who’s Who, and has written op-ed articles for Selling 2.0, Hotel and Motel Management, and Marketing Management magazines. He is a past global chairman of HSMAI, which has 6,000 worldwide members. Most recently, The American Marketing Association presented the AMA-DC Hall of Fame to Himelstein, who also serves on the Luxury Institute Advisory Board.