Director of Hospitality
Ishmael Williams is the Director of Hospitality, which secures the venues that house CONvergence and other Convergence Events offerings, oversees the process of moving the convention into and out of the hotel and with hotel management, ensures the care and feeding of attendees with the offering light sustenance and beverages, and encourages a pleasant atmosphere to provide an enjoyable experience to the membership.
Ishmael has been serving as a member of the Board of Directors since the very first CONvergence. He is the longest serving director to continually oversee the Hospitality Division, formerly known as Hospitality and Membership Experience, or HoME. He also helped to found the Minnesota Society for Interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy (MiSFiTS), which is now known as the Geek Partnership Society (GPS).
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Ishmael transplanted to St. Paul. He attended Juilliard and is a graduate of the Harvard business school. A long history as a customer service professional, being a graduate of several courses on business models and organization, and a student of human behavior, provide a good foundation for Ishmael’s work in the Hospitality Division.
Ishmael has many things he’s passionate about. He’s an amateur photographer, a lifelong fan of Star Trek, Hill Street Blues, Firefly, and The West Wing and has what he describes as a “deep and abiding love – nay, passion for – The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.” A student of pop culture, Ishmael is able to recall movie, tv, and song quotes for use in casual conversation. He is a fan of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Bugs Bunny, and the Animaniacs, and his musical loves include Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Judy Garland, and Liza Minnelli. He also travels quite extensively.
Favorite Quote: “If I ever go looking again for my heart’s desire, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” — The Wizard of Oz