Local Women: Shari Berger

After 27 years working at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center (the last 15 of which she was director of sales), and three and a half years as vice president of sales at the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, Shari Pash Berger decided it was time to share her sales knowledge with others and started Hospitality Selling Solutions in January. Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your company? A: I thought that after 30 years it was time to really start the part that really excites me: training and teaching others to come into the industry. How to really doing effective sales can be easy if you follow a system … Plus, I think if you take it from a personal view, why I’ve chosen right now, is this past year I’ve endured a very major surgery — I had my scoliosis corrected in my back. It really gave me time to stop and reflect on this next stage of life. What is it I want to be doing right now? And I said, it’s time to give back; it’s time to take all the gifts I’ve been given and share them. Q: What do you like best about having this job? A: I get to do just what I love to do. I don’t have a lot of other administrative-type things that I’ve got to build into my day. I get to truly coach and train and really help people move forward with their sales operations … What I really like to see is … people really reach their full potential. Q: Do you have any hobbies or other things you’re involved in? A: (Since) my scoliosis corrective surgery, I’ve started a non-profit. It’s called Scoliosis the Journey (www.scoliosisthejourney.com) … I blog a lot, and I have people all over the country contact me, which is really exciting because, again, it’s that giving back stage of life. So, I have people who call me or e-mail me and they just ask questions — I’m not a doctor, so I certainly don’t give advice. However, it’s a great support system, and I can share my experience because the surgery is very major … I look at what I’ve been through all of my life with scoliosis and … I feel like, gosh, if I had had a support system all these years, how nice it would have been.

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