By Tim Priebe
July 31, 2023

Young Professional Q&A: Lexi Banister

From kickboxing tournaments to elegant weddings, Lexi Banister is at the heart of it all at Hilton Garden Inn and Edmond Conference Center.
Lexi Banister, a Sales Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn and Edmond Conference Center (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Lexi Banister is a Sales Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn and Edmond Conference Center. Her journey in the world of hospitality began early, and over the years, she has nurtured her career with dedication and a genuine love for creating memorable experiences for people from all walks of life.

Q: Do you live in Edmond, work in Edmond, or both?

A: I do work in Edmond and have been at my current company since 2018, but have actually worked in Edmond since I was 15 years old when I got my first job at Tealridge Retirement Community. I grew up in Edmond but recently moved to Guthrie. 

Q: Where did you grow up and go to school?

A: Originally, I am from Texas, but we moved to Edmond when I was in first grade. I went to Washington Irving Elementary, Cimarron Middle School, and graduated from Edmond Memorial High School in 2013. After graduating high school, I received my Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in General Studies with a double minor in Leadership and Thanatology. This is not a part of the question, but I LOVED my time at UCO and am proud to be a Broncho alum! 

Q: What did you do prior to getting involved with your current company?

A: Prior to working for my current company, I was a college student at UCO. While in school, I worked part-time as an Assistant Teacher at First Christian Church Child Care Center for four years. In my last year, I started working for the HGI Edmond Conference Center as part of their banquet staff and once I graduated in December of 2018, I applied for a Sales Coordinator position which then led me into my current role. 

Q: How did you get involved with your current organization?

A: My mom, Sherri Banister, is the Director of Sales for the HGI Edmond Conference Center. She has been here since 2016 when the company was still in the planning and building phase, which is how I was introduced to this organization. My plan was to work here part-time while I finished school and then I would look for opportunities elsewhere, however, the more time I spent here the more I realized this is the place I wanted to be!  

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I love that every day is different. One day we are hosting a kickboxing tournament and the next we are setting up for a wedding. There are people that travel here from all across the US and other countries and there are people that come here from down the street. I am in a unique position to meet all kinds of people and hear their stories and assist them in planning out their events. Every day I have a chance to enhance someone’s experience in Edmond, Oklahoma and I absolutely love that part of my job. 

Q: What’s something you’re passionate about in your personal life?

A: I am passionate about quality time with family and friends. Life gets really hectic and busy, but I will always prioritize time with them. I love family dinners, movie nights, game nights, and traveling together. My family is really close and they mean the absolute world to me, so anytime we are able to get together, have fun and really just live life with one another that is what brings me the most joy. 

Q: What’s an accomplishment you’re the proudest of?

A: Our hotel has won the Conrad Achievement Award three years in a row, and that is something I am extremely proud of. This award is presented to the top one percent of hotels in the entire brand based on total quality score rankings. It is an incredible honor in my industry and makes me so proud to be a part of this team.

Q: What is one of your big goals you’d like to accomplish in the next decade?

A: This goal is both a professional and personal goal, but I want to travel more. Working for Hilton provides amazing opportunities to travel to different properties all over the world. I would love to see how other properties serve their clients and communities and bring those ideas back here to better serve our clients and community. There is so much to the hospitality industry that I have yet to learn and to be able to travel and explore, while also gaining knowledge along the way sounds like a win-win to me. 

Q: What do you like about Edmond?

A: Something I really like about Edmond is all of the community-wide events, like VIBES, Heard on Hurd, the Arts Festival, and LibertyFest. I feel like these events help maintain that small-town charm Edmond has even though 95,000+ people live here. They bring us all together as a community and provide a unique and fun experience for the whole family!  

Q: What is your number one tip for other young professionals?

A: My tip is not profound or even original, but it is something I feel can make a real and lasting change in the world around us: be kind. Be open to and intentional with the people around you and lead with compassion and kindness. 

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” —Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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About Tim Priebe

Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of Backslash Creative. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.