Michelle Castady Orlando, 34, works in Chicago as general manager at 360 Destination Group Chicago. As a 2018 40 Under 40 honoree, Orlando discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: As General Manager of 360 Destination Group’s Chicago office, I work to develop collaborative teams of passionate and progressive professionals who create and deliver indelible experiences for corporate conference attendees. Marrying my sales and operational backgrounds allows me to successfully manage both people and projects, and in ways big and small our team of hospitality heroes helps planners do more with less—always operating as a strategic extension of their team.
How I got here: In 2004, having very little working knowledge of the DMC world, I landed my first hospitality position as an operations manager with a Florida-based event company. I immediately fell in love with the fast pace and constantly changing environment and over the course of eight years, I worked my way up through the ranks to director of sales. Being a Midwestern girl at heart, I eventually decided to leave my incredible network there and seek new horizons in Chicago. Here, I’ve had the pleasure of leading the charge at 360 Destination Group through various roles since 2013.
Greatest career accomplishment: Taking home ILEA Chicago’s 2013 Rising Star Award, multiple “Best DMC” honors, as well as MPI-CAC’s 2017 Supplier of the Year Award have been absolute highlights.
Impressive stats: Since assisting in the launch of the 360 Destination Group Chicago office in 2013, I’ve steadily increased sales by an average of 25 percent year-over-year.
What I’m working on now: I’ve recently been slated as VP of Education for the 2018/2019 MPI Chicago Area Chapter’s Board of Directors.
What I do outside of work: When I’m not working or volunteering, I really love exploring all the Windy City’s hot spots with my husband, checking out new craft breweries, restaurants and other fun pop-up attractions.