Meet our Explorers: Leo Resende

Our Event Manager Leo tells us about his career path & LGBTQIA+ commitment 

We caught up with Leo Resende, our Events Manager, to dive into his journey at MEININGER Hotels. From his dynamic start in Sales to planning memorable events, Leo shares his experiences, dreams, and how diversity and inclusion shape the MEININGER culture. 

Meet our Explorers - a portrait of Leo Resende
Leo Resende

Let’s start with the basics. How long have you been a Berliner? 

It’s been 5 years. I’m originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, but I lived in the UK since age 16.  

Now, your journey with MEININGER Hotels—spill the beans! 

I worked with a MEININGER Hotels partner before, so I knew the product. I started as the UK Sales Manager in London, later moved to Berlin, and eventually shifted into events; a happy move as I’d already joined MEININGER Hotels events. I love my new position!  

Meet our Explorers - a party in a garden, a gathering of many people
MEININGER Summer Party 2023 in Berlin

Managing events can be tricky. Any secrets for a seamless experience?  

Achieving seamless is tough with events that could involve up to 400 guests. As we say in Brazil, “If Jesus couldn’t please everyone, how will I?” I aim to surprise by delivering the unexpected. If they expect burgers and fries, give them sushi!  

Best and most challenging aspects of your role?

The best part is the creative element. Developing a vision and executing it is rewarding. We get to do unique things, like the “Make your own gin” experience. The day of an event is like a rollercoaster. You rely on suppliers, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. Trust is key, especially since I operate pretty much as a one-man show. 

How do you identify yourself on the LGBTQAI+ spectrum?  

I identify as a gay man and am proudly part of the Diversity & Inclusion team, a growing platform for diverse employees. We do a lot of cool things, and we’re a bit louder than other teams! (laughs) 

That’s the fun part! The CSD motto this year was “Be their voice and ours…”  

In D&I, we aim to represent ourselves and other groups, giving voice and visibility. It’s more than sympathy; it’s about “Hey, you’re just the same as me.” A message of equality! 

Positive changes in D&I at MEININGER Hotels since you joined? 

Yes, an organic shift with new talent joining from various places. Diversity changes the creative and commercial dynamics and having a D&I strategy makes a big difference. 

How does D&I contribute to the company’s success? 

Happy and comfortable people do better jobs, and job satisfaction rises. 

The company embraces various values and traditions. How does it create a warm environment for employees and guests? 

After our first Pride Townhall at the Headquarters, people felt prouder of the company. It gave representation and boosted morale. Our hotel teams are also a step ahead as they interact daily with guests, a widely diverse crowd. 

Meet our Explorers - two women holding a LGBTQIA+ flag and a woman looking at it

Can you tell us more about the Pride Townhall?  

We wanted to do something to celebrate Pride. It was a virtual event with a trans woman living in Berlin as our guest speaker. I interviewed her on her unique experiences, and it went great! 

Inclusion is like a puzzle with each piece adding to the bigger picture. Can you share a project you’re working on with the D&I team to create a positive impact? 

Identifying more minority groups, promoting awareness days, for example for religious holidays, and showcasing diversity beyond the LGBTQAI+ community. 

How would you encourage people to embrace diversity in their daily interactions? 

Walk up to people different from you, make connections outside your comfort zone, and ask them “How is it for you?” Real-life connections are a form of education.  

We all have role models who inspire us. Who’s yours and why? 

I was involved with Tibetan Buddhism for some time, so I’d say the Dalai Lama. He’s peaceful, in a good mood and inclusive. I went to one of his events once where every sentence was translated in 5 languages. It can’t get more inclusive than that! 

Absolutely! Lastly, what’s your personal mantra? 

“What do I want from today?” If you can’t answer that, it might not be a good day. Also, our Pride Townhall quote about D&I, “I don’t like cucumbers, but I don’t hit them when I go to the supermarket!” 

Thanks for sharing your insights, Leo! 

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