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Conference Services Manager

Department: Food Services Effective Date: October 2006
Grade: USG 8 Reports to: Assistant Director, Cash Operations

General Accountability

Reporting to the Assistant Director, Cash Operations the incumbent is responsible for the administration of conference services at the University of Waterloo.

This position is responsible to:

Nature and Scope

UW Food services operates 19 outlets across campus and co-ordinates all administrative task through a centralized office. The department’s budget is estimated at $14,000,000.  The two major expenses are food cost, $3,500,000 and wage and benefits cost, $4,500, 000.  UW Food Services employs 90 full-time hourly paid staff, 25 full-time salaried staff and approximately 250 part-time hourly paid and full-time temporary staff.

The Conference Centre offers an academic setting with comprehensive educational facilities and resources, plus a well-earned reputation for providing top-notch management and an emphasis on personalised service. Full conference planning services, lodging and quality food service are provided for approximately 30-40 conferences per year. The annual budget is $1 million.

Primarily, the position exists to manage day-to-day activity of the Conference Centre serving a broad range of customers from within and outside the University. Residence accommodation is available at UW Place, Ron Eydt Village, Village 1 and Columbia Lake Village. The incumbent is required to collaborate with the Residence Managers and Assistant Director, Cash Operations to determine suitable availability of accommodation, social and meeting space for conference delegates and hotel guests. A careful selection of accommodation is necessary to effectively match each guest’s needs and expectations with appropriate style and location of accommodation. The incumbent supervises one full time staff and 4 student’s managers during the conference season.

Additionally the department offers short-term accommodation to visiting scholars. Throughout the year a choice of on and off campus fully furnished and equipped apartments are offered from one night to several months’ occupancy.

The incumbent must possess excellent communication and customer service skills; demonstrated ability to lead, motivate, supervise staff; demonstrated financial management and budget development skills; experience with strategic planning and marketing; ability to work under pressure; flexibility and adaptability. Extensive overtime hours including evenings and weekends are required during the summer months.

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

The Conference Services Manager is responsible to:

Ensure overall management of the Conference Services and short-term stay accommodation programs including scheduling, contracting, planning, promotion and operation of conferences, special events and workshops.

Develop overall marketing and outreach plan.

Negotiates all rental rate and guest rate agreements and any legal/liability issues. Ensures conference requirements are met.

Advises customers on function planning and logistics.

Develop, in collaboration with Manager, Marketing & Residence Life Development, written materials in support of the Conference Services program including contracts, proposals, pamphlets, brochures, web pages and general forms.

Prepare and monitor annual operating budget for Conference Services in accordance with the financial policies and procedures of the University’s Finance Department. Ensures minimum annual net revenue goal is met. Acts as a signing authority for Conference Centre budget unit.

Establishes guest rates, conference planning fees and short-term stay accommodation fees, etc. Prepares weekly/monthly management reports of projected revenue and expenses.

Perform all accounting (including individual project accounting)and invoice preparation functions that ensure the client is correctly charged, all monies are deposited in accordance with the University’s cash handling policies and all expenses charged to the general ledger are correct and have sufficient back-up documentation. Track and monitor accounts receivable.

9.           Represents Conference Services and UW with other related agencies, organizations and departments including: The City of Waterloo, Chambers of Commerce, local tourism bureaus and the local community, UW guests and University academic and academic support departments.

10.         Responsible for recruitment, development, training and performance of full time and conference student staff.

11.         Other duties as may be assigned by the Director.

Working Conditions