Donald Contursi, CIS, 35, works in Las Vegas as the president of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours. As a 2019 40 Under 40 honoree, Contursi discusses his passion for the events industry.
What I do: As the founder and president of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, I curate award-winning dining experiences in Las Vegas for individuals and groups. We do all the work so that guests can relax and enjoy at each of four destination stops, where they’ll be greeted personally by the chef and get to sit next to a different person each time to network over food and drink.
How I got here: Like so many, I waited tables to put myself through college to earn a degree in business, working my way up to become a server at the top restaurants in the city. Even in my free time, I enjoyed dining out at other acclaimed establishments on the Strip. With keen insider knowledge and an unbridled passion for hospitality, I wanted to find a way to give visitors a truly elevated dining experience, in which they didn’t have to stand in long lines or make multiple calls to try to snag an impossible reservation.
Greatest career accomplishment: Having started this company on my own, I can’t tell you how thrilling it was for me to host a Lip Smacking Foodie Tour recently for an incentive group of 140 people that went flawlessly from start to finish. It is second only to seeing a full-page story written about my company in my hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune.
What I am working on now: We’re excited to start expanding the Lip Smacking Foodie Tour beyond the Las Vegas borders. We recently hosted a group of 50 meeting planners in Northern California, and are working with IMEX Group to create a tour in Frankfurt for IMEX Frankfurt.
What I do outside of work: I am proud to lend my time and expertise for the third year in a row as director of the board of the Las Vegas Hospitality Association. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with friends and family and, of course, trying out new restaurants.