Gianluca Sardo, Chief Operating Officer of The Glasshouse

Gianluca Sardo joined The Glasshouse in New York City just before its grand opening in 2021. Currently serving as its Chief Operating Officer, Gianluca has over two decades of experience in the hospitality and event management industry. He brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique international perspective to the table, having held various positions in both Italy and the United States.

“I grew up in Italy, where family gatherings and community events were a significant part of life. These experiences sparked my interest in hospitality and event management. I was fascinated by how events could bring people together and create lasting memories,” Gianluca recalls. This passion steered him towards a career in the hospitality industry, where he could blend his love for organizing events with his desire to create exceptional experiences for others.

Gianluca began his career in Italy, honing his skills in customer service and operations. His journey then took him to the United States, where he expanded his expertise further. This diverse background equipped him with a profound understanding of cultural sensitivities and the ability to tailor services to meet diverse client needs. “One of the early challenges I faced was adapting to different cultural expectations and standards in the hospitality industry. Starting my career in Italy and then moving to the US required a keen understanding of diverse customer preferences and service styles,” he explains. He overcame these challenges by staying adaptable, continuously learning, and building strong relationships with mentors who guided him through these transitions.

Throughout his career, Gianluca has worked in various roles across Italy and the US, gaining unique insights and skills from each position. From front-line customer service to executive management, these experiences taught him the importance of adaptability, effective communication, and the ability to see the big picture while managing intricate details.

Bridging Cultures in Hospitality

Gianluca’s career, marked by roles in different countries and positions, has provided him with a broad perspective on the hospitality industry. These experiences have emphasized the importance of cultural sensitivity and tailoring services to meet diverse client expectations. “Working in different countries and positions has highlighted the value of innovation and continuous improvement in maintaining a competitive edge,” Gianluca notes.

At The Glasshouse, Gianluca’s initial challenge was ensuring everything was ready for a seamless launch. This involved coordinating with various teams to finalize construction, setting up operational protocols, and building a cohesive team. “We addressed these challenges through meticulous planning, clear communication, and fostering a collaborative environment where everyone was aligned with our goals,” he explains.

Today, as the COO of The Glasshouse, Gianluca’s primary responsibilities include overseeing daily operations, ensuring seamless event execution, and driving strategic initiatives to enhance the venue’s offerings. He focuses on continuous improvement, regular staff training, and maintaining high standards of service and safety. Additionally, he actively engages with investors to improve financial results.

Gianluca oversees the execution of over 200 events annually at The Glasshouse. His collaborative and empowering leadership style has been instrumental in building a dedicated team committed to excellence and innovation. His strategic vision includes expanding The Glasshouse brand to major cities like Miami and Los Angeles, as well as additional locations in New York City, solidifying its reputation as a premier event venue.

Crafting Unforgettable Experiences

The Glasshouse in New York City offers stunning views, state-of-the-art facilities, and versatile spaces that can be customized for any event. Gianluca and his team leverage these unique aspects by working closely with clients to understand their vision, bringing it to life with meticulous attention to detail and creative solutions. “We focus on understanding our clients’ vision and bringing it to life with meticulous attention to detail and creative solutions,” Gianluca shares.

Successfully managing over 200 events annually is a significant achievement. Key strategies for this success include meticulous planning, attention to detail, and effective communication with clients and vendors. Gianluca also implemented a robust feedback system to continuously improve services. “Building a strong, dedicated team and empowering them to take ownership of their roles was crucial to our success,” he explains.

Balancing creativity and logistics requires a structured approach and a keen eye for detail. Gianluca’s process starts by understanding the client’s vision, then creating a detailed plan that outlines every aspect of the event. Regular check-ins and adaptability ensure the team stays on track while allowing room for creative enhancements.

Gianluca’s vision for The Glasshouse is to be the premier event venue in NYC, known for exceptional service and unforgettable experiences. “We plan to achieve this by continuously innovating, expanding our offerings, and building strong relationships with our clients and partners,” he states.

Leadership in Action

Gianluca describes his leadership style as collaborative and empowering. He believes in leading by example, providing clear direction, and fostering a supportive environment where team members feel valued and motivated. “Over the years, my leadership style has evolved to be more adaptive, recognizing the importance of flexibility and innovation in a rapidly changing industry,” he notes.

At The Glasshouse, Gianluca’s priority is to hire individuals who are not only skilled but also share a commitment to excellence and teamwork. Continuous training, open communication, and recognition of hard work and achievements help build a positive and respectful work environment. Gianluca emphasizes the importance of these practices, stating, “We prioritize hiring individuals who are not only skilled but also share our commitment to excellence and teamwork.”

The team at The Glasshouse is encouraged to share their ideas and provided with regular opportunities for professional development. By fostering an environment where innovation is valued and supported, Gianluca empowers his team to strive for excellence in all aspects of their work. “We encourage our staff to share their ideas and provide regular opportunities for professional development,” he says.

Gianluca’s advice to those aspiring to build a successful career in hospitality is to stay passionate and committed to continuous learning. “Building a successful career in hospitality requires adaptability, strong communication skills, and a genuine desire to create memorable experiences for others. Seek out mentors, be open to feedback, and always strive for excellence,” he advises.

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