Joshua Rice, 39, works in Downers Grove, IL, as global hotel and venue manager at McDonald’s Corporation. As a 2018 40 Under 40 honoree, Rice discusses his passion for the events industry.
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What I do: Eighteen months ago, I stepped into a newly created role to focus on managing McDonald’s hotel, venue and sourcing partnerships. By leveraging our strategic meetings management program and rethinking the annual hotel business travel RFP process, I continued to deliver positive business outcomes. With our SMM program, I’ve elevated the service we provide, ensuring appropriate locations are selected and value is achieved by maximizing cancellation and attrition situations across the McDonald’s system.
Greatest career accomplishment: We had a significant agreement that we had to cancel with short notice and reschedule for two years later. Due to the partnership I have built with this hotel over time, we were released from our business obligations at no cost. Since then, I have worked diligently to place new business in the hotel and have replaced this cancellation with 200 percent of the initial room commitment.
Impressive stats: Along with the success of our SMM program in 2013, I was responsible for the implementation of our attendee management platform, which included more than 1,400 sites and more than 180,000 registrations in six countries.
What I am working on right now: I’m working on the final stages of completing a supplier management program for the $40 million our department manages. This is in addition to our $30 million in spend connected to our SMM program. To round out the first part of 2018, I’m working on our worldwide convention for 13,000 people as a new meeting strategy to complement our global headquarters move from the suburbs to downtown Chicago.