John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts (JQH) yesterday announced that Missouri-native Brent Parker has been appointed general manager of the company’s University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center located in the heart of the Springfield Arts District downtown. With 24 years of professional hospitality experience, including with JQH assignments in Illinois and Iowa, Parker will also oversee the company’s Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Springfield adjacent to Hammons Field. Last year, both properties earned the TripAdvisor special Hall of Fame status for achieving a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for five consecutive years. Springfield-based JQH is a leading private, independent owner and manager of hotels in the United States, including operating more than 1 million square feet of superb meeting space.
“We are so pleased to have Brent back at JQH and home in Missouri with so many of his family and friends,” said John Pasley, JQH’s regional vice president. “Brent’s extensive experience with upscale, full-service properties and his proven track record for inspiring hotel teams to get involved in the community are ideal for this Springfield-based management opportunity.”
Parker, a graduate of Missouri State University’s Hospitality & Restaurant Administration program, most recently served as general manager of the Cedar Rapids Marriott Hotel in Iowa. Prior, he was assistant general manager of JQH’s Bloomington ? Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Illinois. His career also includes serving as director of food and beverage and director of event management for the St. Louis Airport Marriott in Missouri. Parker is active in the hospitality community, including serving on the Board of Directors of GO Cedar Rapids (formerly Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau) and the Iowa Lodging Association.
“I’m humbled to be entrusted with management of two high-profile properties within the JQH portfolio,” Parker said. “I also find it inspirational to know that University Plaza Hotel was a favorite of Mr. Hammons, as it is known locally that he visited the property’s Terrace Grille for lunch practically daily when not closing hotel deals around the country. I feel so honored to help ensure that his high standards are maintained to the fullest.”
Located in the Springfield Arts District at 333 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway, the 267-room/suite University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center features a 1,100-square-foot day spa on the main floor, delicious dining at the Terrace Grille overseen by Chef John Luchtel, and a relaxing atmosphere at the Terrace Lounge. Guests can enjoy complimentary high-speed internet access and a complimentary daily hot breakfast buffet. The hotel’s new Q-Street Perk Coffee Shop serves Starbucks Coffee to enjoy on site or on the go. Combined with the Springfield Expo Center, the upscale facilities represent 150,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibit space.
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