For nearly 20 years, Shelley Clark has been involved in the hospitality industry, orchestrating marketing communications campaigns that have launched, built and expanded brands. Equally versed in the operation of hotels – boutique to grand - and restaurants – casual to fine dining – she is adept at identifying the distinguishing characteristics of a brand’s DNA that are most likely to command consumer interest, while distinguishing it in the marketplace.
Prior to founding Platform Communications in 2007, Clark served ten years as vice president of Lou Hammond & Associates, one of the most respected hospitality and lifestyle-focused public relations firms in the United States. During her tenure there she directed the promotion of such international icons as The Waldorf-Astoria (for which she introduced Laurent Gras to the American market at Peacock Alley), Relais & Châteaux (North America) and Tavern on the Green. All of which she garnered prestigious awards from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, for placements in the likes of: The New York Times, USA Today, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Food Network, New York Post, Nations’ Restaurant News, Restaurants & Institutions, Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, Crain’s New York Business and Financial Times. In addition to her work with such well established entities, she launched new restaurant and hotel concepts and rehabilitated the public image of others.
Regardless of a brand’s maturity, Clark developed strategic partnerships, organized noteworthy special events and created innovative programs that captured the imagination of the media, as well as drove business.
Clark began her hospitality industry-centric career in the early ‘90s as the director of communications for the Crowne Plaza-Manhattan, the flagship for what was then the new upscale brand of Holiday Inn. A member of the hotel’s opening team, Clark took a cue from the property’s location on Broadway to position it as the Theater District’s premier hotel, attracting Broadway openings and helping to establish the Broadway Walk of Fame.
Her success in making the hotel a new star on New York’s hospitality landscape, attracted the attention of legendary restaurateur Warner LeRoy, who recruited her to his famed Tavern on the Green – an association that remains in place to this day. Recent Tavern on the Green initiatives driven by Clark include the publishing of the landmark restaurant’s first book, the forging of a brand extending relationship on QVC and securing a contract for a pilot from a major cable television outlet.
Other current clients include: Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, rated a Top 5 Newcomer by Zagat 2008 and 230 Fifth, New York City’s largest rooftop bar.
Before becoming entrenched in hospitality, Clark logged public relations experience in the general lifestyle arena.