Holly Breidel, North Central Group

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Holly Breidel, regional senior sales manager, North Central Group.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

North Central Group is a locally owned hotel management company, with 10 (soon to be 11) Hilton and Marriott branded hotels in the Madison area. As regional senior sales manager, I’m responsible for assisting and guiding our sales efforts in this region. Working with a variety of hotels is a balancing act, and can be one of the more challenging aspects of my job. Each day is a new day, a new challenge, and a new opportunity. One of the most rewarding aspects is the opportunity to meet new people, form new relationships, and showcase our hotels and everything the Madison community has to offer. If you do what you love and love what you do it shows — not only to your peers, but also the guests.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

In the hospitality industry, I admire Deb Archer, president/CEO of the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau and Madison Area Sports Commission. I’ve always been inspired by women in leadership roles, and their innate ability to balance work, life, and self-care — something Deb truly excels at. She is down to earth, approachable, always maintains a professional manner, and holds family values. Her leadership, focus on education, and dedication to promoting Dane County as a destination to live, work, and play is very admirable to me.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

Working for a company with colleagues that believe in me. North Central Group recently opened the new AC Hotel Madison Downtown property, and I had the opportunity to work alongside Marriott in the opening of this hotel and help lead our sales efforts. Some things were new and outside my comfort zone, but I enjoyed every minute of the experience. I’m excited to see what new opportunities the future holds.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

I’d give my 21-year-old self the following advice:

  • You’ll learn a lot through trial and error — these lessons are fundamental to personal and professional growth;
  • Don’t sweat the small things, as they are just that;
  • Be yourself, everyone else is taken;
  • Life obstacles are an opportunity for change; and
  • Always view things in a different perspective. One of my favorite quotes is from Marcus Aurelius: “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”

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What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

This is a great question, and makes you stop to reflect on the things you take for granted when calling Dane County home. We moved a lot when I was a young child, but Madison (and family) always drew us back to this area, and ultimately brought me back to the Midwest when I settled down and started my own family.

Dane County is clean, attractive, progressive, and well planned. Our downtown boasts a vibrant culinary scene, offers outstanding arts and entertainment, and is home to our very own university. Located in one of the best counties for outdoor activities in Wisconsin, Madison is surrounded by lakes, bike paths, and parks — and a free zoo — for everyone to enjoy. It’s the place my family and I are proud to call home, even in the dead of winter!

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

Interior design. I’m not a master by any means, but I love to decorate around our house and help friends and family from time to time. This probably wouldn’t come as a surprise to those who know me.

What are your guilty pleasures?

Fashion blogs. I love indulging in the latest fashion trends and industry news — it’s definitely one of my guilty pleasures. Blogs are more personable than traditional fashion mediums, and I’m always inspired to step outside the box sartorially.

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