By Annie Rhoades
MaryGrace Vasilyev (BSFCS 08) joined The Inn at Ole Miss staff in January 2017 as sales coordinator and was named sales manager in March of that year. In her position she is responsible for group and corporate sales, including function space reservations. Her focus is on new business in the Oxford area, strengthening client relationships and driving revenue growth through sales efforts.
“The Inn at Ole Miss is unique in that we are the only hotel affiliated with the university,” she said. “Whether it is for returning alumni who are planning their dream wedding at their alma mater, a departmental luncheon, or an awards banquet for current students, I love being a part of making our guests’ vision into a reality.”
With The Inn’s recent qualified resort status designation by the Mississippi Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control, Vasilyev is eager to see event space reservations grow.
“To say that I am excited about our recent approval of resort status is an understatement,” she said. “Thanks to the progressive thinking in our leadership and effort put forth to make this happen, we will finally be able to compete in an area we were previously lacking in compared to other venues. Not being able to serve beer in the past has been a deterrent for some event planners. Now that we can offer beer as an option, we have the ability to capture a broader range of event business.”
In addition to growing new business, Vasilyev enjoys nurturing existing client relationships to ensure The Inn is always their first choice.
“MaryGrace has been a fantastic addition to the staff at The Inn at Ole Miss,” said Nadia Thornton, assistant general manager. “She loves meeting with clients and showing them how our facilities can accommodate their needs, whether it is a corporate meeting, university event or an elegant wedding. With her organizational skills and her willingness to think outside the box, MaryGrace has helped our sales department grow in just the last year. She is diligent in working with clients to ensure all the meetings run smoothly and are successful. The number of repeat customers we have is a direct reflection on her dedication to our clients.”
With over over eight years of hospitality experience, Vasilyev has held various operations and sales positions within the hospitality industry, working with different brands including Hilton and Holiday Inn.
“I was drawn to the hospitality industry because I’ve always enjoyed finding a way to make someone’s day and get them to smile, even though they might be complete strangers,” she said. “By the time our guests leave we feel like old friends, and we have helped them get to know and love Oxford and Ole Miss the same way I have for the last twelve years.”
When she is not working at The Inn, Vasilyev likes running, playing tennis, cooking and spending weekends at the lake with friends, family and her husband, Joey.