MEET OUR TEAM
W Chicago City Center aims to redefine meetings and events with effortless style and gracious attitude that ensures a truly unforgettable experience. Scroll down to meet our energetic sales and convention teams that are excited to work with you and provide the service you need to make your event remarkable.
KATI KAUP, COMPLEX DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING
KATI’S PASSION: CARD MAKING
Originally from Southern California, Kati split her childhood from Anaheim to Tulsa and received a degree in Communications with a minor in Meetings and Destination from NSU in Oklahoma. Upon graduating, Kati moved to Chicago to pursue a career in hotels working for the Hiltons of Chicago, representing six hotels in the Chicago area. In 2010, she accepted a job with Starwood Hotels, working for the W Hotels of Chicago and most recently stepping into the role of Complex Director of Sales and Marketing.
SUSAN WHITE, COMPLEX DIRECTOR OF CATERING & EVENTS
SUSAN'S PASSION: TRAVEL
Susan has worked for other hotel companies, but started with Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 1999 at the Sheraton on the Park, Sydney as a Convention Services Manager. She had the amazing opportunity to be the lead manager on the 2000 Sydney Olympic games events at the hotel, and looked after a host of VIP’s and sponsors and coordinated 24 hour hospitality over the 21 days of the games. Her career with Starwood has crossed not only continents, but various brands within the organization including Sheraton, Luxury Collection, Westin and W Hotels.
BROOKE WEIDMAN, COMPLEX DIRECTOR OF GROUP SALES
BROOKE'S PASSION: TRAVELING LIKE A LOCAL
Brooke graduated from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Tourism Management. She began her hospitality career by being part of the magic at Walt Disney World. She went work at various properties for Hilton and Marriott before calling the W Hotels of Chicago home in 2014. In addition to leading the Group Sales Team, she is also an active member of MPI, Chicago Area Chapter, as Co-Chair for the Education Programs Committee.
KATIE MURPHY, ACCOUNT DIRECTOR, BUSINESS TRAVEL SALES
KATIE’S PASSION: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Katie holds a degree in Hospitality Business from Michigan State University’s Broad School of Business. She grew up in Michigan, and upon graduating she moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to pursue her career in sales and hotel management. There she worked in group sales under Marcus Hotels & Resorts. Katie moved to Chicago in 2013 to join the Starwood Family and begin her journey with W Hotels. Her most recent promotion has her leading the Business Travel team and managing relationships with corporate partners and bringing the W Brand to life. Katie is Co-Chair for the Publicity Committee with the Board of the Chicago Business Travel Association.
MATT LEAVIS, COMPLEX MARKETING MANAGER
MATT'S PASSION: DESIGN
Matt received his Marketing Communications degree from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, with a minor in Visual Art. He began his career working in Guest Relations at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Over the next four years, he planned and coordinated events throughout South Florida. In 2014, Matt began his career with W Hotels Worldwide at W Minneapolis – The Foshay. Bringing his passion for guest service and marketing to Chicago, he transferred to W Chicago – Lakeshore to fulfill the role of Concierge. In February 2017, Matt was promoted to Complex Marketing Manager for both W Hotels of Chicago properties—W Chicago – Lakeshore and W Chicago – City Center.
MARNIE KATZ, COMPLEX ACCOUNT DIRECTOR
MARNIE’S PASSION: PLANNING
Marnie is from Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She moved to Chicago shortly after to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. She has been a part of the W Hotels of Chicago since 2010 handling various markets and most recently the consulting, banking, and insurance markets. She loves the hospitality industry because she enjoys meeting new people, building relationships, and traveling.
BRITTNEY CARTER, COMPLEX GROUP SENIOR SALES MANAGER
BRITTNEY'S PASSION: WATER SPORTS
Brittney graduated from Indiana University with a Business Degree and a Marketing concentration. She has been a part of the Starwood Family for the past 10 years and started her career at W City Center as a Welcome Desk Agent, moving on the Sheraton O’Hare before making her way back downtown to the W Hotels of Chicago. Brittney has experience as an event manager, catering sales, and most recently stepping into her current role on the Group Sales team.
BRITTANY CLARKE, COMPLEX GROUP SENIOR SALES MANAGER
BRITTANY'S PASSION: HISTORY
Brittany is from Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from The Ohio State University before making her way to Chicago to begin her career in the hospitality. After spending two years in the restaurant industry, Brittany started her hotel career at W City Center as a Coordinator and Meeting & Event Manager. She left W City Center in 2014 to join the Group Sales Team at The Westin Michigan Avenue only to return in 2017 as a new addition to the team.
DILLON ELKIN, COMPLEX GROUP SALES MANAGER
DILLON'S PASSION: SPORTS
Dillon graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, where he earned a degree in Hospitality Management while also working as a Concierge for MGM Resorts International and as Chef Concierge at Station Casinos’ Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Resorts. After moving back home to Chicago, Dillon got his start with Starwood in 2012, joining W Hotels of Chicago. Next he joined the team at The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, and became the Director of Business Travel, Dillon has returned to W Hotels of Chicago as a Complex Group Sales Manager handling the pharmaceutical and medical market.
Chelsey French, SALES MANAGER, CATERING
CHELSEY'S PASSION: NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
Chelsey graduated from Creighton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in business. At the time, she had the passion to open her own restaurant and followed that path to attend culinary school in St. Louis. After graduating with a degree in culinary arts, she helped execute a restaurant opening as assistant to the executive chef. Even though Chelsey’s experience stems from the restaurant industry, she did find herself working many summers at a seasonal resort, as well as a few catering companies. Chelsey became a member of the Meeting & Events team at W Chicago City Center in 2013, and moved into her current role as Catering Sales Manager.
DANIELLE JOHANSSON, COMPLEX GROUP SALES MANAGER
DANIELLE'S PASSION: INTERIOR DESIGN
Danielle graduated from the W.P. Carey School of Business at the Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. She started her hospitality career with Starwood at The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa in Chandler, AZ where she was an Executive Meeting Specialist and Conference Coordinator. After Danielle moved back to her hometown of Chicago, she joined W Hotels of Chicago in 2013. Prior to Sales, Danielle was a Meeting and Event Manager at W Lakeshore.
BRAD KRILLENBERGER, COMPLEX BUSINESS TRAVEL SALES MANAGER
BRAD'S PASSION: TRAVEL
Brad was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, and has degree in Hospitality Management from Purdue University. Upon graduating, Brad moved to Nanjing, China to work for a 5 star Luxury hotel. Brad retuned to Chicago and worked for Starwood & Hilton Worldwide in both the roles of Convention Services and Group Sales Manager. Brad took his hospitality skill set to the University of Chicago as the Senior Associate Director of Student Services within its MBA program for nearly 10 years. Most recently, Brad returned to school to get his Master’s Degree from Northwestern University and is excited to return to the hospitality industry with W Hotels of Chicago!
Jill Natale, Meeting & Events Manager
Jill Natale, Meeting & Events Manager
Jill’s journey in the hospitality industry began shortly after she graduated from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA. Following graduation she found herself planting new roots in Chicago, gaining experience working at various properties throughout the city. In 2012 Jill joined the B&F team at the W City Center with a focus on banquets and events. Her passion for events is what lead her to her current role at the property as Meeting and Events Manager.
COLLEEN QUINLAN, COMPLEX CATERING SALES MANAGER
COLLEEN'S PASSION: GETTING OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE
Colleen graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Hospitality and Food Management and a minor in Foundations of Management. After college, she moved to Ireland to explore Europe. After 6 months of working and traveling, she landed back in her hometown of Chicago. She went on to work for a Restaurant Group as an Event Sales Manager. Her passion for restaurants quickly turned into a passion for sales. She then accepted a position as Restaurant Sales Coordinator for the Renaissance Chicago and was a part of the opening team for the rooftop bar, Raised. After almost two years there, she joins the W family as a Complex Catering Sales Manager.
DERRICK VALENTI, SOCIAL CATERING SALES MANAGER
DERRICK'S PASSION: FASHION
Derrick graduated from the University of Central Florida, Rosen College of Hospitality with a degree in Hospitality Event Management. He started his career with the newly open Hilton Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria resort at the renowned Walt Disney World property as an Event Service Manager. After a year of service, he went on to become the Senior Production Coordinator at Drape Kings DC, before moving to Chicago to assist in the opening of Drape Kings Chicago. After five years with Drape Kings, he moved on to become the Director of Catering at the famed and historic Warwick Allerton Chicago Hotel. Derrick joined the Marriott-Starwood world as a member of the W Chicago – City Center team as our Social Catering Manager. With fourteen years in the industry, he has an unmistakable style for creating glam weddings and a magnetic personality that leaves you wanting more!
MEGAN WEINANDY, MEETING AND EVENT MANAGER
MEGAN'S PASSION: TRAVEL
Megan is from Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Upon graduation, she moved to Little Corn Island, Nicaragua where she started her career in hospitality. There she spent two years there in operations before moving to Chicago in 2013 where she began her career with Marriott at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel. In 2017, she joined the W Chicago City Center as a Meeting + Events Manager.
HANNAH WILSON, COMPLEX SALES MANAGER
HANNAH'S PASSION: TRAVEL
Hannah pursued a degree in Public Relations + Advertising at Loyola University Chicago, with a minor in Marketing. After starting her career as a sales and events professional in Chicago, she ultimately built her career between the Windy City and Miami in both the design and entertainment industries. Hannah Joined the W Hotels Worldwide team in 2014 as an Operations Supervisor at W Chicago – Lakeshore. Sharpening her guest relations and client service skills, Hannah was consistently recognized for her dedication and enthusiasm within various departments at our Lakeshore property, including Whatever/Whenever®, Welcome Desk, and Sales. Hannah was promoted to Complex Sales Manager in 2017 for the W Hotels of Chicago.