Responding to the challenges of a vastly changing business world, Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier group representation firm, has appointed seasoned meetings and hotel industry leader, Gary Murakami, GTP, GLP, CMP, CMM, DES, as Vice President of Sales and Industry Relations.
In this newly created role, Mr. Murakami will be responsible for building awareness of Teneo’s transformative plans for the future across the global meetings, events, and travel industries. Based in San Francisco, Murakami will develop and leverage his extensive corporate, association, and intermediary/third party relationships from the West Coast and international markets, as Teneo continues its global growth initiatives. Mr. Murakami will assume primary responsibility for sales originating from the West Coast markets.
“As our members work tirelessly to reestablish their sales operations, Teneo is making bold moves to strengthen support to each member hotel, resort, and DMC,” said Teneo President Mike Schugt. “For this reason, it is with great pleasure that we welcome Gary to Teneo as our new Vice President of Sales and Industry Relations.” Schugt continued, “for the past 23 years, Gary has developed incredible relationships with meeting planning clients throughout Northern California and the Northwest. He brings a regional and global perspective, strategic vision, and proven leadership that will have a positive impact on Teneo’s members. As important, Gary shares our commitment to inclusiveness, building collaborative relationships, and driving results for our members.”
Known for his innovation, industry expertise, and negotiating skills, Gary Murakami brings over two decades of experience within the hotel, convention, and meetings management industries in a variety of professional sales and sales leadership roles. His experience spans the corporate business travel, leisure travel, associations, and group meetings and events markets with such prominent hotel brands as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, Mr. Murakami was Director of Global Sales at MGM Resorts International, working with an international portfolio of destination resort properties, including the Bellagio Hotel & Casino, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Aria at City Center and The Mirage.
Throughout his distinguished career, Gary Murakami has held a variety of important leadership and committee roles with several industry associations both locally and nationally. He currently serves on the PCMA Foundation Board of Trustees following his service on the PCMA Board of Directors, and has been a past chapter president of the PCMA Northern CA Chapter. Mr. Murakami has also served as President of the Board of Directors for the MPI Northern California Chapter. He has been an active member of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and has been involved with its GBTA Meetings & Events Committee for the past several years. Murakami has also served on the board for the Bay Area Business Travel Association (BABTA), a chapter of GBTA for almost twenty years, including two terms as President.
Mr. Murakami was recognized by Meeting Professionals International in 2019 with the prestigious RISE “Meeting Industry Leadership” award for his contributions to advance the global meetings and events industries and for his work on the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee. Other professional organizations benefitting from his commitment to the industry include the Events Industry Council’s Equity Task Force, and the Events Industry Council APEX Commission where he served as Chair.
Among many other involvements, Gary Murakami is an Executive Board member for the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association, and continues to articulate and bring visibility for the professional development of the LGBTQIA+ community within the meetings and events industries.
Gary Murakami is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. He maintains several industry-recognized certifications and designations including the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification from the Events Industry Council (EIC), in addition to the Global Travel Professional (GTP) certification and Global Leadership Professional (GLP) designation and certification from Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Mr. Murakami received his Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) offered through Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and his Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification from PCMA.