Q: What are you most proud of in your business and private lives?
In my private life I`m proud of my family, as we support each other in both the good and the bad times and we spend a lot of time together having fun. In my business life I`m proud of my “dream” team, which faces new challenges every day and does its tasks independently, responsibly and all team members are committed with high commitment and professionalism.

Q: Life wisdom/motto?
Formula for my luck/happiness; a yes, a no, a straight line, one target (German philosopher)

Q: Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday?
I`ll spend my vacation with my partner at the Cote d`Azur this year. We`ll spend the time on remote beaches, visit sleepy fishing villages, idyllic little towns with historic attractions and enjoy the romantic sunset, beautiful coastal panorama and the delicious French cuisine.

Q: What was your favourite vacation?
I travel a lot for business during the year– I was able to see many interesting places all over the world and meet nice people of different cultures. Sometimes I return to those places with my partner for a holiday.  It is difficult for me to say which vacation was my favourite one. We always enjoy our time together, no matter where we spend our beautiful vacation.

Q: Where would you go if there were no time and financial constraints?
Maybe I would do a trip to the moon – it would be very exciting for me to see the earth from a different perspective.

Q: What is your favourite indoor/outdoor activity?
I work out every day in the morning to keep my body fit, but I prefer any kind of exercise in nature, no matter which kind of sport. This can be long walks in the vineyards or Nordic walking in the forest or playing tennis with our friends.

Q: What is your favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)?
In general I prefer light Italian and French cuisine, but as an Austrian I like very much the legendary “Tafelspitz” – boiled beef with spinach, apple horseradish dip and hash browns. It tastes delicious! This traditional Austrian dish is prepared with top-quality meat of Austrian origin, from a piece of a young ox` leg.

Q: What is your favourite gadget?
My iPhone and iPad – they are very practical and useful, but I`m not a slave to them!

Q: Which song do you most often play on your iPod?
I like any kind of music and have a large collection of CDs at home – I choose the music depending on how I feel…

Q: Which part of the day and of the week is your favourite?
I like morning because I know that I can do a lot. I do not really have a favourite day – every day is nice for me and brings something new.

Q: What is your favourite mode of transport?
It depends for which purpose – for long distance I prefer the plane-for sure, but I also like driving my car.

Q: If you could return to the past or zoom to the future, how old would you like to be and why?
What a difficult question! I feel good the way I am and where I am at the moment – as long as I stay healthy, have my family and I’m capable of doing what I like – I`m happy!

Q: If you could witness any event in history which one would you choose?
“Harley Davidson Charity” Tour which was organised for children with muscular dystrophy last year in Austria. I think it`s great that this organisation tours through Austria and helps those poor children.

Q: What was the best party you have attended?
The very last one was one week ago, the “Sponsionsfeier” (graduation ceremony) of my daughter – in a small restaurant with family and friends.

Q: The last film, book, concert?
I like crime thrillers – the last I saw was yesterday from Bremen “Brother” with Sabine Postel and Oliver Mommsen. I like biographies – the last one I read was the biography of Steve Jobs (the Apple founder) and the last concert was Pink Floyd`s “The Wall” last August in Vienna – a fantastic adventure!

Q: What fantasy character would you be?
Batman – he is not a superhero in the narrower sense, such as superman, because he has no super powers. His superiority is based on intelligence, willpower and hard working – this is how I see myself.

Q: What did you learn last week?
If you are sick and you don`t feel well – the world looks completely different- health is the most important thing I own! 
After her professional education in the hotel tourism sector in Czechoslovakia in 1984, Ivona Meissner was able to make her first experiences as a Front Desk Clerk at the Hotel Slovakia**** in Zilina. After moving to Austria, the native-born Slovak was working in 4- and 5-star hotels as a Front Desk Clerk, Reservation Agent, Front Desk Manager, Banquet- Sales and Marketing Manager and finally as Assistant General Manager. 

Meissner Ivona
Ivona MEISSNER, CEO BEST WESTERN CENTRAL EUROPE

CV IVONA MEISSNER
After her professional education in the hotel tourism sector in Czechoslovakia in 1984, Ivona Meissner was able to make her first experiences as a Front Desk Clerk at the Hotel Slovakia**** in Zilina. After moving to Austria, the native-born Slovak was working in 4- and 5-star hotels as a Front Desk Clerk, Reservation Agent, Front Desk Manager, Banquet- Sales and Marketing Manager and finally as Assistant General Manager.

In 2007 Ivona Meissner started working for BEST WESTERN, the biggest hotel group of privately owned hotels worldwide, subsequently taking over the position of the Member Service Manager. Some of her main tasks included the support of members, organisation of member conferences, meetings & workshops, development and execution of training sessions as well as counseling and being part of the Help Desk solving issues with reservations systems & revenue management. Another part of her responsibilities were the development of manuals, the development and implementation of the successful and groundbreaking quality program “I Care”, as well as the hotel acquisition and implementation of new hotels. In her role as Chief Operation Manger (COO) and Authorised Officer from 2010 until 2012, she was in charge of the target of the business policy, economical organization and strategy, development of concept and controlling.

In taking on the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in January 2013, she is now not only involved in operations, but is also a delegate in all of the European and International BEST WESTERN committees. Given her long experience in the hotel business and tourism sector she has been a guest speaker at many events and schools in Austria and abroad. 

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