And the busiest person in the room is usually AYC Board Chair and President Tommy Belton.
is a man in almost constant motion, which partly accounts for the three guitars leaning against the wall in his
small downtown office.
"I just moved into a bigger apartment and don't have cases for them," he
"So I'm keeping them here for the time being."
A former musician himself, Belton doesn't have much time for his old pastime these days.
too busy splitting his
time between his
duties with AYC
job as lodging director at Hotels for Hope
On top of that, he
longtime partner are expecting their first child in November.
Boston-born but Austin-bred, Belton
's dad worked in the local hospitality industry, and Belton followed suit.
After attending Texas State, Belton worked as conference sales manager for three years at Hammock Beach Resort in Florida before returning home to Austin to serve as group sales manager at the Driskill Hotel.
An active board member in the AYC
, Goldman asked Belton
to step in and help create a program designed to recognize and promote young business professionals in Austin.
After its inception, Belton ran the FAVE Awards for the next three years before becoming board chair and president last year.
"It's a way to network and get involved in the Austin community through any of the various committees we have that do something for the community, and also to network with other young professionals in that area," Belton
In addition to the FAVE Awards and Monthly Mixers, AYC's
numerous programs include community committees that help nonprofits, volunteer community service, mentoring at-risk kids and the Imagine Committee
, which focuses on fostering music and the arts.
is also a powerful resource for prospective employers, allowing them access to a deep pool of talent and skills.
"We're also creating a lot of opportunities for businesses to have a really solid resource to look to if they're looking to fill a position," Belton
"If they post a job and they say, 'I really want to reach out to the Austin Young Chamber
,' it's a great group of people who are all very good at what they do, well qualified, well educated young professionals."
Belton still makes time for his other job as lodging director at Hotels for Hope, overseeing housing management for such heavy hitters as Circuit of the Americas, the X Games and C3 Presents.
"The great thing about Hotels for Hope
is that for every room-night we book, we ask the hotel to give a $1 charitable contribution, and then we match that dollar.
We have 10 partner charities that we work with, all benefiting children in some way," he
To date, Hotels for Hope
has donated more than $300,000 to various charities.
myriad duties, plus his
impending status as new dad, Belton
has little time for his
"I still go out and see live music when I can," he
says, "when I have the time.
I'm definitely a big blues fan-Stubbs, ACL Live. …" He
glances wistfully at the forlorn guitar in the corner, tempted.
Just as he's
about to reach for it, the phone rings and it's back to the business of business.