Congratulations to Jenn Alley, Director of Sales at the Bluemont Hotel, for being selected to be a part of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious “Leadership Manhattan” program. General Manager Jennifer Kuntz praised her colleague, saying, “ We like to think of ourselves ‘at the heart of MHK’ and Jenn definitely personifies this!”
Some of the top goals for the Leadership Manhattan Program include expanding and sharpening leadership skills and techniques along with facilitating ongoing communication among emerging and established leaders throughout the Manhattan community. This group of individuals seek to increase their awareness of the issues facing the Manhattan community and improve communications through networking with fellow civic, business, social and educational leaders.
The leaders within this group are some of the top professionals in the area. Being a part of Leadership Manhattan allows not only Jenn Alley, but the entire Bluemont Hotel team to be a part of this experience. After years of outstanding service and hard work, Jenn will provide endless wisdom to her peers in the program.
We are excited for Jenn to bring the knowledge and experiences from the many leaders involved in this program to the staff at Bluemont Hotel.
Read further for Jenn’s Leadership Manhattan Q&A.
What prompted you to apply? Or, if you were nominated, what compelled the person?
I was nominated for Leadership Manhattan. I had heard about Leadership Manhattan and knew several people that had gone through the program, but I wasn’t familiar with the details on the program and exactly what it was about. And although I don’t know who nominated me, I felt that if someone took the time to think of me, in making their nominations, it was the right thing to give it a shot and go through the process. I’m excited that I was selected and for the opportunity that lies ahead.
My belief is that it is my involvement in various community activities that would give someone a reason to nominate me. I have been active in the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce for several years and its various committees. And in the past couple of years, I have been a member of the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation’s Young Trustees, I serve on the Board of Directors for the Flint Hills Volunteer Center and am a committee member of the Festival of Trees Gala, held every November.
How do you envision your role personally in moving Manhattan forward?
In going through this leadership program, a goal of mine is to find my role in just that. How can I, personally, use my qualities as a person and a leader to help this community grow and prosper. I love Manhattan. I’ve chosen to make this community my home for nearly 20 years since coming here to attend K-State. The growth that I have seen in those 20 years is awesome, but this community isn’t done. I’m excited about being even a small part of its future success!
How do you envision Bluemont Hotel’s role in moving Manhattan forward?
It is my hope that we can continue to be the leader in hospitality for Manhattan. We are a local business, whose foundation was built on a love for Manhattan, K-State, and the Flint Hills Region, as a whole. Everything in our property represents that foundation, from the limestone inside and outside the building, artwork showing the area’s past, local beer, wine, and spirits in our lounge, and purple everywhere! Even though we are a hotel, we are also very inviting to the local community, whether it be our Live Music Series, Wine/Spirit Tastings, and other various events, which do not require overnight hotel stays.
Another important asset is that we are not a branded or franchised property. We have the ability to truly listen to the needs of our guests and needs of the community and can make the necessary changes to ensure that those needs are being met, without breaking any brand standards or corporate rules.
What is your favorite thing about Manhattan?
I grew up in a very small community in NE Kansas. So naturally, my favorite thing is the small town feel that Manhattan has. The things that I enjoyed most while growing up in a small town are still true with my time in Manhattan. Being able to be involved in various groups and activities, running in to friends and loved ones at a K-State game, church, dining out, shopping, etc., is a comfort for me and is my favorite thing about Manhattan.
What’s the thing you recommend visitors that they HAVE to do while in town?
When I am talking to potential clients, trying to get them to bring their events to Manhattan, I’m bragging about our local businesses. I urge them to get the entire Manhattan experience by Eating-Drinking-Playing-Staying LOCAL!