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DEI Advisors Podcast
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DEI Advisors Podcast

Author: David Kong, Dorothy Dowling, Rachel Humphrey, Lan Elliott

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Every week, DEI Advisors brings you practical advice and insightful perspectives from hospitality industry leaders or other accomplished professionals with the goal to inspire future leaders and improve their career trajectories. Each interview highlights an advisor who shares inflection points of his/her career journey and lessons learned from overcoming challenges and taking risks. The interviews are full of useful tips on finding mentors and advocates, networking, continuous learning, overcoming ”imposter syndrome,” achieving work life harmony, and more.

107 Episodes
An attorney by training, Noah shares how advocating for himself led him to several important Development roles at Marriott.  He explains how taking on challenges created visibility and opportunity, while also sharpening his skillsets and abilities, which were ultimately transferable to different roles.  Noah also describes how his intellectual curiosity and competitive drive motivate him through the discomfort of dealing with the risks and challenges he encounters.  He explains how he found his mentors and champions and how developing a couple deeper relationships can have a real influence.
Alexi discusses why he thinks the hospitality industry has less diversity at the leadership levels and the importance of conference attendance. He shares his strategies for assessing risks and overcoming obstacles. Alexi talks about work life balance, how saying yes often impacts him positively yet also presents challenges for him, and what he would tell his anthropology-major self today.
Tony shares his career journey ascending to his current role leading Marriott and his learnings along the way. We discuss the leadership role Marriott has played in ESG and DEI efforts in the industry and how that helps Marriott. He shares mentoring advice he received from Bill Marriott and Arne Sorenson, and also offers lessons in leadership, work life balance and strategic agility. He also shares advice for self empowerment.
API Month Msg

API Month Msg


Our country's diversity is a strength. Diversity stimulates creativity and ushers in innovation. As we celebrate API Heritage Month, we give thanks to generations of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders who have greatly contributed to our country and enriched its culture, society and history.
Anthony discusses his path from military service to media personality with a passion for hotel turnarounds. He shares how he lives with gratitude and how he overcame paralyzing stagefright to become one of the industry's most recognizable public speakers. Anthony talks about his view on work-life balance and what’s behind his advice that "slow is fast" and "be kind to yourself."
Alison shares the importance of mentoring others, including people from a different demographic – not just because mentors benefit and learn from their mentees, but also because hiring leaders are requesting this.  She also discusses how to cultivate a network – and where the magic is.  Alison talks about recent trends in recruiting, what makes candidates stand out . . . and what makes hiring leaders stand out, plus the one area of personal development candidates are not focusing on enough.
Suzanne outlines her journey from part-time public broadcaster to CEO of GBTA with stops inHawaii and Connecticut and her progressive experience in several tech companies that helpedher develop skills and approaches that have made her a successful executive in the travelindustry. How being aware of the trends in the industry and the workplace in general gives youthe opportunity to plan for new career opportunities.She also outlines the importance of having a supportive family and spouse to her careeradvancement. She highlights the importance of following your passion, but also of being awareof your limitations; the experience of Covid has shown there is a need to moderate yourcommitments so that you can show up as your whole self to the workplace.
Rosanna Maietta shares her path from reporter to hospitality industry executive. She also discusses the work of the AHLA Foundation, which she leads, and its DEI vision, “to build an industry as diverse as the guests we serve.”  Rosanna also shares the lessons she’s learned along the way, including the importance of public speaking skills, advocating for yourself while also finding champions to advocate for you, and how and why you should continue to focus on your personal and professional growth.
H World Group Ltd. Is the 7th largest hotel group in the world with over 8,200 hotels in 17 countries, and is listed on NASDAQ. Miss Liu has been the architect of the group's transformation from a traditional hotel company to also being a leader in hospitality technology. In our interview, Ms. Liu shares her thoughts on formal education, how she broke into a field traditionally dominated by men, and her approach to challenges. She also provides advice on coaching and mentoring, networking and finding passion.
Nelson details his distinct career journey from Payne Weber as an investment banker, Viacom and other media companies and how that has led him to his current career in the travel industry. During that career journey he shares the impact mentors had on his career and how a few hours with Quincy Jones had a profound impact on how he viewed his approach to mastering a career.  He relates his own journey and how he has grown to appreciate the value and importance of understanding and valuing the people you work with and the customers you serve; the importance of authenticity and agility in leadership and how critical having and communicating a clear vision and values are to both personal and team success.
Rob shares his career journey and offers learnings on how he overcame setbacks and challenges. We discuss the current inequity and lack of inclusion and diversity in our industry and how individuals can empower themselves to achieve their aspirations. Rob also offers advice on networking, finding mentors and advocates, and how he developed talent.
Nic offers a solution for the industry's labor crisis. He discusses his approach to challenges and difficulties. In addition, he shares how he adapts as a foreigner to fit in and lessons from working in complex and political situations in his career. He  ends with some advice for aspiring individuals.
Rupesh shares his journey and his secret to his tremendous success on social media. We discuss how his parents as immigrants have shaped him and the evolution in thinking from generation to generation. Rupesh also offers advice on dealing with setbacks and challenges, building networks and finding inspiration and passion.
Sylvia Douglin, Founder, Refined Training & Consulting, shares insights gained in her 20 years as a trainer, including what personal branding entails and why it’s important.  She also offers practical tips on how to ask for advice, how to speak up and share your ideas in a way that gets heard, and why learning how to write for business can further your career.  Sylvia explains the difference between a mentor and an advocate, how to select a mentor or advocate, how to develop those relationships, and discusses the significant differences in what diversity encompasses today.
Clara shares how she took a risk by leaving her corporate job to start her own business, eventually bringing $5 million of new event business to San Diego within 3 years, the challenges she had to overcome and the advice her mentors have offered her along the way.  She also discusses how she built her network and launched the Women in Tourism & Hospitality Conference to celebrate the achievements of women.
Craig shares his career journey and his learnings. He offers advice on embracing diversity and creating alignment based on his experience working in multiple countries. We discuss strategic agility and finding inspiration for innovation. He shares the best advice he has received and we discuss work life balance. He offers parting advice on personal empowerment.
Dr. Jeffrey O epitomizes the incredible career path which the hospitality industry provides - from front desk agent to CEO.  He shares why he felt he had a knack for leadership early on and how overcoming his hesitancy to delegate has been a main focus of his leadership development. He talks about why giving back is so fundamental to his mission, why diversity matters, and the importance of mentorship. And, he makes an exclusive offer to listeners of DEI Advisors for access to complimentary public speaking resources.
Michael shares the factors that contributed to his success plus the importance of intellectual curiosity.  He talks about the value of getting involved in industry groups and how public speaking helps to build your personal brand.  Michael shares his 3 steps for leading teams – and while the concepts are simple, he admits executing them is harder.  Finally, he shares advice for having a long and successful career.
Jeff Higley discusses how he discovered his aptitude for leadership at a young age and how a combination of both being his genuine self and knowing his stuff weaves through many of his leadership styles and successes. He shares how he tackles risks and how he works hard to develop skills needed for leadership which don't come as naturally to him. He also talks about his advice to his younger self and how loving what he does helps him manage work/life balance.
Cindy shares how she became an entrepreneur, founding three hospitality companies focused on data analytics and co-authoring over 10 industry books on topics related to the digital space and data analytics.  She discusses how advocates propelled her career forward, how she chooses the people who are part of her support system, and her approach to advocating for herself.  Cindy also advises people to determine what their strengths are and play to them, and the importance of a development plan.
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