This month’s Meet the GM column puts the spotlight on Lisa Yilmaz of Sonesta ES Suites Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Check out our Q&A below to learn some surprising facts about this treasured member of our team!

Q: What do you like most about working within and leading a hotel?  

A: I like being able to be involved in all departments.  As I am a multi-tasker at heart, I truly enjoy analyzing and being a part of improving/learning from all aspects of a hotel.

Q: During your time with Sonesta – what role/opportunity have you enjoyed or do you look forward to most? 

A: I really enjoy being part of building our brand.  In my experience, being part of something from the “ground up” is quite special and very unique.

Q: In your opinion, what has been your hotel’s most successful Everyday Surprise? 

A: When I was in Omaha, we had a group of people staying with us from South East Asia in September/October.  We really wanted to show them snow, but the weather was hovering in the 90 degree range when we were trying to plan and event for them.  We rented a snow cone machine, had a pumpkin carving contest, and just had a ton of fun.  It was very memorable for the team and myself as I hope it was for the group!

Q: If you weren’t a hotelier, what would you be? 

A: This is what I’d be doing in some capacity.  If not managing, owning.

Q: What do you enjoy most about living in greater Minneapolis? 

A: I really haven’t had much of an opportunity to explore, however, I really love that the area is extremely “pet friendly” as my Toy Chihuahua, Dezi, goes with me almost everywhere!

Q: Name your favorite place to visit — any destination in the world. 

A: I love to visit warm places with water; Mexico, California, you name it.  I would really like to visit Turkey someday as that is where my father was born.  I am told Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

Q: Name three items you absolutely do not travel without. 

A: Shoes for every outfit, a speaker, and my sense of adventure!

Q: What is something your guests would be surprised to know about you?  

A: I think that they would be surprised to know I have two (very handsome) Grandson’s, Evan (13) and Talan (9).

The next time you’re visiting us at Sonesta ES Suites Minneapolis-St. Paul, be sure to say “hello” to General manager, Lisa Yilmaz – and be sure to check out her shoes!