Published on : Thursday, February 18, 2021
Eric J. Bates has been appointed General Manager at Wingspread Retreat and Executive Conference Center, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels conference center hotel located in Racine, Wisconsin. The official announcement was made by Ellen Sinclair, Benchmark’s Senior Vice President of Operations. Eric Bates began his career in hospitality at age 15, working in hotels owned by family and friends.
He previously held the position of General Manager for Eaglewood Resort & Spa, a Benchmark resort located in the Chicago suburb of Itasca, Illinois. Over his distinguished career, Mr. Bates has held a number of leadership positions for independent and branded resorts, and major hotel brands such as Hilton, InterContinental Hotels, the Stouffer Hotel Company, and Marriott International.
Eric Bates is a graduate of the culinary arts program at Joliet Junior College where he earned an associate’s degree. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, graduating Cum Laude. A two-time recipient of Regional Hotelier of the Year honors from the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, Mr. Bates is an active community member serving most recently on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Northwest and Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureaus, and on the Executive Board of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association.
His former board appointments include the Milwaukee Hotel and Lodging Association, the Chicago North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Skokie Chamber of Commerce and the Marriott Business Council. He also resides in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, with his family.