Welcome to Partner Spotlight! A highlight of the diverse and talented individuals in our Chicago Northwest region’s hospitality industry.
Meet Sanja Bajgoric, Director of Sales & Marketing, GF Hotels & Resorts, Chicago Marriott Schaumburg
A native of a small mountainside town in Bosnia, Sanja and her family moved to an island village in historic Korcula, Croatia when she was a child. In the mid-1990s, her family emigrated to Chicago due to the Bosnian war. She recently realized that her mom was exactly her current age today when they packed up their lives in a couple of suitcases and moved across the world to a country where they didn't know anyone nor spoke the language. Her parents were determined to provide a better future with more opportunities for the family. “To say that they are my heroes is truly an understatement. My parents taught us the importance of kindness, compassion, honesty, and hard work. To always stay determined to get up no many how many times life knocks you down.” says Sanja.
As early as the third grade, Sanja knew she wanted to be an architect, just like her dad. She would spend endless nights drawing houses and buildings and in particular hotels. Sanja stated, “I always told my dad that one day I would build and own a hotel! I don't plan on letting my 3rd grade self down, so I am still keeping this goal very much alive!”
While studying architecture, she began work as a night auditor to help put herself through college. She quickly advanced to the front office and then into sales. “I fell in love with this industry, and enjoy having the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and to listen to their stories. It is truly a humbling experience being in this position where you learn so much from others.”
Sanja worked as the Area Director of Sales for Aimbridge Hospitality’s three Schaumburg hotels until recently when she was hired by GF Hotels and Resorts to represent the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg as their Director of Sales and Marketing.
Sanja is a big proponent of goal setting, journaling and creating vision boards. “In such a fast-paced world, there is something therapeutic about putting the pen to paper and really slowing down and writing out your thoughts. Even with something as simple as jotting down your goals, I believe you are twice as likely to achieve them, that is how powerful words can be!” And this is how she plans to realize that dream of building her hotel, perhaps on the beautiful island of Korcula.
Special thanks to Sanja for sharing a little bit about herself! We hope you join us as we share Partner Spotlights each month.