FALL 2018 FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER
Anna Schmid (’95)
Anna Schmid is the vice president of administration and event optimization at The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas. When asked what that means, she usually cocks her head, smiles and says, “How long do you have?” Her 23-year hospitality career has never been what you’d call traditional, but she has had a myriad of roles that have allowed her some very “colorful” opportunities.
Anna is, and always will be, a Texas girl at heart. Born and raised in Houston, she studied hospitality at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management while holding numerous positions with Hilton and Westin hotels, as well as the Houston Oilers and Houston Rockets organizations. Months after graduation in 1995, she packed her bags for Las Vegas, where she began her integrated resort career at the iconic Caesars Palace.
Anna started as an entry-level rooms reservation agent and took every opportunity to expand her knowledge of the city and the industry. She held management roles in concierge, business services, pool, spa/salon, quality assurance and guest services, and even did a stint as bell captain during the graveyard shift. Anna was also part of the leadership team that developed and launched many new concepts on property, including the opening of the 1,200-room Palace Tower. In 2001, she completed her MBA from the University of Las Vegas.
After nine years of “growing up in the industry” at Caesars Palace, Anna took a detour and opened a couture wedding boutique and floral design business. “Working for yourself is the hardest job you’ll ever have,” she said. “Running my own business is where I learned the most about leadership, finances, patience and how to be a jack-of-all-trades. I think everyone should try it, at least once, in their career.”
Life threw Anna a curve in 2008, and she was encouraged to return to the hospitality industry for a job in paradise… Paradise Island, Bahamas. A single mom at the time, Anna and her three-year-old daughter Ava moved to Florida, where for the next several years she commuted from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau, Bahamas as the vice president of casino special events for Atlantis Resort and the One and Only Ocean Club.
Shortly into her tenure, Anna was also asked to build the Love Atlantis Wedding and Celebrations brand. She and her team took wedding revenue at the properties from $1.5 million annually to more than $11 million in annual revenue, while building her venues into the premium wedding destinations in the Caribbean. While living on the island with her family, Anna also led the special events, entertainment and guest activities departments at the resort, and helped to grow the Battle 4 Atlantis NCAA Basketball Tournament and the Atlantis Live Concert Series.
In 2015, Anna and her family returned to Las Vegas for an opportunity with The Venetian and The Palazzo. Currently, she leads a division that includes the weddings, celebrations, guest satisfaction, sustainability, and community outreach departments – a “mash-up” of everything she is passionate about. Anna also oversees several special projects for the property’s executive team.
Anna sees her most important role as mom to two incredible daughters, Ava and Stella, and wife to a very supportive husband, Paul. She is also committed to mentoring the at-risk high school youth of Nevada, and is very active with the nonprofit organization JAG (Jobs for America’s Grads). Although a part of her heart will always be in Texas, she now calls Vegas home and describes the city as “the most exciting and innovative place on the planet to live, work and raise a family.”