August 2, 2023 | Awards
Making people feel welcome is all in a day’s work for Kristin Stayart. A passionate director of sales at Hampton Inn & Suites LAX/El Segundo and a committed community volunteer in El Segundo, California, she recently received the Core Value Award for Welcoming from the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce.
Stayart, who was also recognized for completing the 2022-23 LAX Leadership Academy, was cited as “a leader in the chamber and a role model of what ‘welcoming’ truly means … she ensures that every single individual that participates in a chamber event feels like family.”
Indeed, she makes a point to connect with her community and its leaders.
“Really being in touch with what’s happening in the market, getting involved with the regional chamber, as well as the El Segundo Chamber — not just being a member but engaging with those organizations and their events — has made a difference,” says Stayart. “Relationship building has helped our overall performance. Just getting out and being present in the community; making phone calls and following up.”
Stayart’s involvement with the chamber has done more than just enhance her hotel’s performance in a highly competitive market, where nearly 50 million people travel through adjacent Los Angeles International Airport each year. It has created opportunities for personal growth. Lifelong friendships have also evolved.
Introduced to the tourism and hospitality industry after moving to Lake Tahoe in search of a new career path, Stayart hasn’t looked back. She has embraced OTO’s Guiding Principles — Integrity, Partnership, Humility, Principled Entrepreneurship, Initiative, and Fulfillment — and puts them into action.
“Working with a company like OTO Development has helped me develop my personal values further,” says Stayart. “I have been able to hone in on what is most important to me professionally and personally. I didn’t realize how strong my values were, but with OTO you hear about Guiding Principles every day. If you believe in what you’re doing and the company you work for, that creates a safe space for doing things well.”
One of Stayart’s primary goals is connecting travelers to the local scene during their stay — utilizing relationships built through the chamber and blending those with innovative concepts that welcome and engage guests, vendors, and potential clients.
One of those innovative concepts was a recent success. Stayart collaborated with Upshift Brewing, located less than a mile from the Hampton Suites LAX / El Segundo, and Salt Catering for a beer tasting at the hotel.
“One of the greatest parts of any collaboration is the opportunity to bring the local community to the travelers who are coming to the hotel,” Stayart says. “Whether travel is business or leisure, people enjoy learning about what the local area has to offer. I really think it adds a little flavor. One of the things that sets us apart is how we approach our guests and bring the experience of visiting our city to them.”
Stayart’s approach is working well. Hampton Inn & Suites LAX/El Segundo is currently ranked No. 1 by Tripadvisor among 18 hotels in the El Segundo zip code; it’s one of only eight hotels among the 34 located within 3 miles of the world’s fifth-busiest airport to earn a 2023 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award.
CAPTION: DIRECTOR OF SALES Kristin Stayart of Hampton Inn & Suites LAX/El Segundo celebrates her Core Value Award for Welcoming with Joe Coleman, outgoing chairman of the board of LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce.