Interview with a Local: Frenchie Ferenczi, Director of Cultural Programming at The William Vale
As we mentioned in our Where to Stay in NYC & Brooklyn articles, there is no shortage of fabulous accommodations in Brooklyn, and one of our favorites is The William Vale. I came to know about our next interviewee, Frenchie Ferenczi, through a couple of fantastic events that I attended there.
How did you come to be the Director of Cultural Programming for The William Vale?
I was working at NeueHouse, as the Director of Cultural Programming, and one day I got connected to the partners of NoHo Hospitality Group; they had just signed on to do all the food and beverage at The William Vale (which was under construction at the time), and were looking to bring more than just F&B to the property, they wanted to bring in lifestyle as well. We met, we brainstormed, and before I knew it, I was commuting to Brooklyn every day, opening a 183 room hotel.
It’s an unusual position for a hotel. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do as well as your background?
It’s such a funny title! Director of Programming sounds like a coding job, but Director of Cultural Programming sounds like a political role….I don’t do either of the above! My job is really about our experiential brand strategy—when people come on property what do they see/smell/feel/think? That question guides every decision I make. The core of my job consists of putting together a monthly calendar of events, that are open to hotel guests and the public. These range in topic from wellness, to music, to literature, to film, and beyond. Aside from that, I work across all departments to support them in ensuring that all guests are immersed in the brand we’ve built.
I hate to say this, but I got here by accident. My early career started in restaurants, after which I burnt out and traveled for six months, that led me to an operations role at NeueHouse, and there I truly started to learn what it meant to build a brand. Once I saw the impact that strong brand-building can have on a company, I shifted gears into NeueHouse’s programming department, desperate to learn more about how I could be a part of this. The excitement generated there, made me hungry to work a new project and build it from the ground up, which is why I was thrilled to join The William Vale.