General Manager

Benchmark Hospitality Chicago , IL 60615

Posted 2 months ago

Benchmark's company culture is central to our management philosophy. The company's stated purpose is "to provide an entrepreneurial environment where determined people dare to create, share, and build futures.

To be the "benchmark" by which all others are judged takes passion, courage, and dedication. We invite you to explore our extraordinary offering of unique opportunities, all with a common goal of providing an unforgettable journey.

Job Description Summary:

The David Rubenstein Forum seeks to meet the need for a University-wide facility for scholarly and academic discourse on campus. The venue will support and promote inquiry, the open exchange of ideas, and the power of academic, interdisciplinary convening. The Forum will be located on the site at East 60th Street between Woodlawn Avenue and Kimbark Avenue. It will serve as a place where scholars can gather and exchange ideas through activities that range from talks and workshops to multi-day conferences that span academic disciplines. The facility will provide spaces and amenities that are not currently available on campus, including highly collaborative, well-appointed meeting and event rooms commensurate with the types of conferences, special events, workshops, and meetings that University faculty and academic departments host. The project has a sustainable design target of LEED Silver.

Job Description:


Seeking qualified, experienced General Manager to oversee the operation of a university convening center. He/she will provide the strategic leadership required to achieve the fiduciary and quality goals of guests, owners, stakeholders and employees. The GM will ensure the effective and efficient operation of all facets while continuously improving on the current model and be responsible for managing in a manner consistent with the mission, operating philosophy, standards and values of the property owners and Benchmark, the managing entity.


  • Requires ability for highly complex conceptual thinking and developing creative solutions

  • Previous hospitality experience required, with strong Food & Beverage knowledge

  • Previous Conference Center experience preferred

  • Minimum 3 years previous GM experience required

  • Minimum formal education of a bachelor's degree

  • Some sales and marketing experience required

  • Must be able and willing to work within the confines of a strict budget


Be the Difference:

  • Understand all aspects of Benchmark's Be the Difference culture

  • Set the example

  • Lead and inspire all employees to Be the Difference

  • Hold each team accountable for delivering the experience


  • Know the business

  • Set a positive direction

  • Build an outstanding team by employing the best talent

  • Uphold philosophy and values of owner and Benchmark

  • Lead and inspire all employees to work to their highest capabilities to achieve the highest possible standards

  • Hold team accountable for results

Sales & Marketing:

  • Work with the Director of Sales, the university key stakeholders and external resources to drive new market and business development

  • Encourage outstanding guest relations. Be available at peak business times and for special guests

  • Work closely and support the property planning team to achieve goals of meeting and event clients

  • Establish liaisons with and provide special attention to key university and external clients

University & Community Relations:

  • Develop and maintain good relationships and partnerships with the university community

  • Develop a collaborative relationship with other campus venues to share business, information and best practices

  • Maintain good rapport with, and take leadership roles in, appropriate professional associations, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and community groups. Ensure that the property participates in relevant industry, trade and community events

  • Develop and maintain good business and community relationships; support and participate in those community activities, that will benefit the property's positioning

Revenues, Occupancy and Profits:

  • Understand owner and management company objectives

  • Assume full P&L responsibility for the facility

  • Meet with members of the Leadership and Management teams, at least weekly, to discuss key topics including revenue, payroll and other expenses

  • Direct the preparation of records and reports pertinent to occupancy, sales and profits

  • Work with the property leadership committee to prepare realistic occupancy and expense forecasts

  • Direct the control of payroll expense, costs and other expenses in all areas. Obtain information necessary for proper analysis of costs and evaluate this information with other team members

  • Periodically prepare an evaluation of all work activities to continuously improve systems and processes offered by the conference center in every department

Quality Hospitality and Conference Services Guest Experience and General Organization:

  • Implement and support program to enhance product and service at a AAA four/five diamond level

  • Direct programs for training and development of the management employee staff so that all areas of the operation are supervised properly and are geared to perform at the highest level

  • Direct the overall activities of the management team so that quality food, beverage, conference services, and other services of the property are consistently provided

  • Utilize guest feedback to continuously improve performance

  • Identify meaningful achievement goals. Provide standards to measure performance. Review periodically

  • Institute a program of regular inspections to see that standards are maintained

  • Work with the property team to review and identify all purchasing sources, specifications, etc., for improvement in quality, service, and/or price

Employee Relations:

Work with the Director of Human Resources to:

  • Create and implement effective employee relations programs

  • Utilize employee feedback to improve performance and engagement

  • Communicate clearly with all employees and keep them informed of important matters. Conduct periodic meetings with all employees. Attend departmental meetings periodically

  • Maintain an atmosphere within the property that encourages an exchange of information and builds rapport between employees and management

  • Administer the wage program and provide for work satisfaction through equitable wages and safe, pleasant working conditions

  • Audit the HR systems to ensure that selection, orientation, benefits, training, progress review, compensation, records, insurances, terminations, equal employment opportunity adherence, etc., are being done efficiently

Employee Recruitment, Development and Training:

Work with the Director of Human Resources to:

  • Develop creative recruiting strategies and tactics to attract top talent

  • Create an employee development and succession plan

  • Stimulate self development programs for all employees and provide opportunity for growth

  • Ensure that quarterly Career Conversations are being conducted consistently and effectively

  • Provide professional counseling for members of the leadership committee and all management to provide for high performance and effective interaction

Building Asset Management:

  • Ensure effective and proactive preventative maintenance and workorder system is in place to maintain the asset to established standards

  • Review with the university's Facilities representatives the quality and quantity of maintenance work so that property facilities are maintained at a high level of efficiency and appearance

  • Ensure regular inspections to ensure cleanliness and maintenance

  • Lead FF&E Capital Reserve recommendations to improve property operations

Safety and Security:

  • Work with the university's Department of Health & Safety to that safety and health requirements are met. Set up regular inspections so that accident hazards and equipment hazards are eliminated, and proper maintenance has been accomplished

  • Institute whatever safety measures are necessary to comply with appropriate Local and National regulations


  • Lead effort to ensure that all National, State and Local laws pertinent to the conference center are being followed

  • Ensure that all required licenses and permits are in place and current


Indoors, dimly lit, carpeted, climate-controlled environment. Hard kitchen floors with occasional slippery or greasy areas. Outdoors, cement surfaces, with exposure to outdoor climate and elements.

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General Manager

Benchmark Hospitality