Teneo Hospitality GroupTeneo Hospitality Group launched the first of several planned 2017 networking and charity programs with an interactive event at Manhattan’s swanky Second Floor venue. The gathering, to benefit the New York Rescue Mission, was attended by 100 meeting planners from the Northeast and representatives of 58 hotels and destinations from across the US and internationally.

Teneo’s networking programs, held across the United States and in Latin America, provide members with a unique opportunity to showcase their products and services, enjoy great food and entertainment, while aiding a local charity. Teneo will host similar gatherings in 13 other cities during the year, each benefiting a local charitable organization supporting the homeless.

At the New York event, meeting planners were given Teneo tote bags to fill. Then, they visited each of the 58 tables where they connected with a hotelier or destination management company (DMC) who added an item to each bag. Each tote bag contained 58 items that could be useful to the homeless, including socks, dental floss, eye drops, hand cream, feminine products, toothbrushes, umbrellas, blankets, Band-Aids, snacks and a number of other necessity items. Over 160 bags were filled and donated to the NYC Rescue Mission. 

Teneo developed the innovative program last year as a key part of its business model. “Our business is built on developing strong relationships between meeting planners and the hotels and DMC members who serve them,” said Teneo President Mike Schugt. “Our charitable outreach utilizes these interactive gatherings to give back by supporting the organizations servicing the homeless in their city.” He also noted that the problem of homelessness continues to grow, affecting a broad spectrum of the population, including families, women, children, veterans and those suffering from substance abuse and mental illness.

Since launching the program last year, Teneo has hosted nine events in various US cities, plus the company’s annual Summit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Teneo chooses a different charitable focus each year. In 2016, the company’s outreach benefited at risk children in numerous US cities. Charities included Covenant House, Special Olympics and several local shelters and clothing programs for children in need. Participants filled backpacks with school supplies, toiletries and sneakers. 

The innovative charitable aspect of the evening was new to many and greeted with appreciation. “It was very thoughtful of Teneo to include the charity component to this event,” said Tiru Irani, President of Far Horizons, a luxury group travel company. “I was touched and very impressed by this kind gesture.”