Bubbly and vivacious, Anna Henschel is rarely seen without a smile. As the Community Engagement Liaison for Hostelling International Chicago, The J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Hostel, Anna is responsible for connecting hostellers with one another and introducing them to Chicago culture from a local perspective. On the daily, she coordinates activities that spark friendships with travelers from all over the world.
For Anna, being around travelers brings out her passion for international culture. Growing up in a family that worked for the airline industry, she had many opportunities to travel. This developed into a love for meeting new people and discovering new places.
Her infectious nature brightens the day of anyone she encounters, and her energy is evident in how the HI Chicago staff lights up around her, making their jobs that much more fun when she is around. A local Chicagoan, she takes great pride in informing the hostellers about all the lesser known bars, restaurants, and nightlife the city has to offer.
Each day Anna is busy with a new task whether it’s organizing hostel events, helping plan a walking tour with a new volunteer, or directing a guest to the nearest Chicago style pizzeria.
Most recently she planned the big pre-Lollapalooza party for hostellers where she hired a DJ to set the mood, prepared hors d’oeuvres, served drinks, and brought in a popcorn machine. Her underlying goal of being the Community Engagement Liaison is to provide each traveler with an experience they can’t find in a guidebook.
Year born: 1992
City: Chicago, IL
Background: B.S. Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism from Colorado State University Warner College of Natural Resources
Profession: Community Engagement Liaison, HI Chicago
Tools of Your Trade: iPhone (photos & social media updates), Microsoft Office (Publisher & PowerPoint for posters), Google Platform (Gmail, Google Cal, Google Chrome)