Craig Shoffit, 36, works in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, as director of group sales at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Shoffit discusses his passion for the events industry.
*Connect with Shoffit on Instagram.
What I do: I lead the property’s group sales efforts for the all group business. I manage the property’s reactive and proactive group sales efforts. I provide day-to-day leadership oversight to the on-property group sales team with a focus on building long-term, value-based customer relationships that enable achievement of the property’s sales objectives.
How I got here: I have worked for Marriott International in the group sales discipline for 11 years. My experience selling and leading teams in large convention hotels from San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter/Riverwalk to the Gaylord Texan gave me the experience needed to lead a seasoned team at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa.
My greatest career accomplishment: I have had the pleasure of being a part of three sales teams of the year for Marriott International. In my current role, our team has increased group rooms by 22 percent over last year, which was up 15 percent over 2015.
Impressive stats: I have successfully increased Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa’s large groups (201-plus on peak) by 50 percent since September 2015, along with increasing our booking arrival years by more than two years.
A specific improvement I’ve made: I am a big believer in engaging all departments in the sales process to ensure everyone is part of helping to close on groups. Better aligning our sales team with all departments through increased communication and engagement has had a direct impact on our increase in closure.
What I’m working on: We continue to focus on increasing our lead volume and site visits to target larger associations and corporations. Our resort has traditionally been perceived as a golf destination, but with us working to increase our visibility we are showing those groups we are a meeting and convention destination that happens to have golf and beachfront experiences.
What I do outside of work: I love to play golf in my free time and can be found on the beach most summer weekends.