PR Newswire | October 26, 2023
Red Roof, an award-winning leader in the lodging industry, hosted over 200 attendees at its 2023 SHE Leads Forum in Dallas. From sound baths to sound advice and student scholarships, attendees – mostly women in the hospitality industry – left the Forum inspired and armed with insightful information and tools to support, help and elevate themselves for future success.
This year's SHE Leads Forum was based on SHE, inspired by Red Roof'sSM pillars of ownership, personal branding, and wellness brought to life, with support from HBO, through interviews, a stellar lineup of speakers and workshops, networking, and even a meditative sound bath. Program leader and founder, Red Roof Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Marina MacDonald opened the Forum celebrating the growth of women in the hospitality industry and at Red Roof.
"In recent decades, there has been an evolution, a growing emphasis on women's professional development as part of broader efforts to close gender gaps in the workforce. And while hospitality is still a male-dominated industry, even that is evolving," said MacDonald. "Last year, we celebrated 31 percent of our Red Roof properties owned or partially owned by women, and this year, that number is over 35 percent, thanks in large part to participation in Red Roof women initiatives throughout the year."
The Forum also celebrated the future of the hospitality industry by presenting seven deserving students with 'SHE Leads Forum Student Scholarships,' sponsored by DISH Business. Each student was selected by their school, including Cornell University, Florida International University, Howard University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to attend the SHE Leads Forum free of charge.
Dr. Lalia Rach, Founder and Partner, Rach Enterprises and best-selling author of Managing the Book on You! Rewriting Your Leadership Story, moderated the two-day Forum. "Red Roof's 'SHE Leads Forum' is in a class all its own! It is jam-packed with interesting speakers, iconic women leaders sharing information, and a passionate leader, Red Roof CMO Marina MacDonald," said Rach. "The biggest difference is the engagement of the attendees, all successful professionals, who want to learn, be inspired, meet new people and connect with those they know. The energy, the desire to be more, is so inspiring."
Keynote speaker Dorothy Dowling, Founder of Introspect Strategic Advisor Services, helped motivate the crowd with her inspirational thoughts. "Women's leadership events such as 'SHE Leads' are like having a trusty guide on our journey, whether it's climbing the corporate ladder or venturing into the world of hotel ownership. They're not just about empowerment, they're about real-world guidance. These events let us tap into the experiences of women who've been there, done that. It's like getting insider tips for navigating our own unique paths," said Dowling.
Through a session on Red Roof's Strategic Initiatives, with Red Roof Director of Strategic Initiatives Lina Patel and Chief Development Officer Matthew Hostetler, attendees also learned about SHE, inspired by Red Roof's sister program, RIDE with Red RoofSM. While SHE is intended to motivate, RIDE is intended to activate — providing access to capital, educational resources and the connections needed to build a strong network of industry partners.
SHE Leads attendees also heard from experts offering business advice. Jyoti Sarolia, President and CEO at Ellis Hospitality gave an informational talk about how attendees can fine tune their lending skills and be ready to finance their next project. Christine Taylor, Claims Consultant & Strategic Insurance Partner at Lockton Companies, spoke about the state of the property and casualty insurance market, educating attendees on the importance of insuring their assets and understanding risk.
Listening to and interacting with so many enthusiastic and seasoned business owners left many inspired. AAHOA EVP of Communications and Chief Strategy Officer Heather Carnes, who also spoke at the Forum, was struck by the collective fearlessness in the room. "When I looked at the strength, intelligence and the daring nature of the women in attendance, I know that the future of the hospitality industry is in great hands. The can-do attitude and entrepreneurial spirit in the room was palpable and contagious. I left feeling like, in conjunction with this amazing group, I could change the world," said Carnes.
Forum speaker Marti Winer, Executive Leader and General Manager of Casa Bonita said, "Programs like SHE Leads are crucial to women in hospitality and beyond for three important reasons. The first is that they provide a forum for conversation. They are a safe space to meet, explore and create the critical relationships that advance careers. The second reason is education. These forums provide much needed and customized learning opportunities for women that are largely unavailable elsewhere. The final reason is innovation. Dedicated time away from the day-to-day allows for more focused thinking, processing and collaborating. As a result, great ideas are born and given space to germinate."
The annual SHE Leads Forum kicks off a year-long infusion of inspiration for women primarily in hospitality that facilitates sharing professional experiences and provides collaborative learning opportunities to continue to foster change in the industry. 'SHE' provides thought leadership, access to resources, and serves as a platform, sharing content and best practices through a dedicated website.
Fareportal | November 08, 2023
Fareportal, featuring brands such as CheapOair and OneTravel, delivers online travel solutions focusing on global bookings through OneTravel.
OneTravel's 'Going Places' blog suggests paying tribute to veterans by visiting parks, memorials, and museums on Veteran's Day.
Veteran’s Day has undergone historical changes in its name and date, from its origins as Armistice Day to the fourth Monday in October and then its restoration to November 11.
On the occasion of Veteran's Day, Fareportal's travel agency, OneTravel, is offering valuable insights for those seeking to commemorate this significant day and pay tribute to the individuals who have served in the armed forces.
According to an article published by OneTravel's 'Going Places' blog site, there are several ways to observe Veteran's Day following its spirit, which include visiting various parks, memorials, and museums dedicated to honoring veterans. These locations encompass Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant (South Carolina), Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg (Pennsylvania), Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock (Arizona), National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago (Illinois), Liberty Memorial in Kansas City (Missouri), Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington (Virginia).
Werner Kunz-Cho, Chief Executive Officer of Fareportal, stated, "At Fareportal, travel is our mission. We feel it is our responsibility to provide readers with useful information to aid in their travel choices."
[Source – Fareportal]
Furthermore, he emphasized that the 'Going Places' article offers excellent recommendations for destinations that align perfectly with the spirit of Veteran's Day, and whether one chooses to travel by air or road, there is an encouragement for all to explore these captivating destinations.
The history of this observance is intriguing, encompassing its original name and the date on which it was observed. Initially established as Armistice Day shortly after the conclusion of the First World War, the holiday's appellation underwent an official transformation to Veteran's Day in 1954. Subsequently, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, primarily aimed at creating three-day weekends for federal employees while stimulating travel and tourism. This legislative action resulted in the moving of the observance of Veteran's Day to the fourth Monday in October. The American populace exhibited a mixed response to this alteration of the date. In 1978, President Gerald Ford decided to reinstate the observation of Veteran's Day to its original date, November 11. This year, since it's a Saturday, Veteran's Day will be observed on the preceding Friday.
Fareportal, a company hosting consumer travel brands like CheapOair and OneTravel, facilitates customer bookings through various platforms, including online and mobile applications, and provides airline partners with access to a broad customer base for booking international and domestic flights, hotels, and additional services. OneTravel, a part of the Fareportal family, is globally recognized for delivering comprehensive travel solutions to meet diverse traveler needs. With OneTravel, customers can find budget-friendly flight options, including business and first-class fares, make reservations for hotels and car rentals, and plan vacations to top global destinations.
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts | October 11, 2023
Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown approaches completion of a remarkable $45 million transformation, marked as one of the largest hotel renovations in the Fort Worth area.
A dynamic five-member senior executive team, led by General Manager Damien O'Connor, is poised to steer the hotel's vision and elevate the guest experience.
The hotel, managed by Aimbridge Hospitality, is strategically located across from the Fort Worth Convention Center, near the picturesque Water Gardens, and in close proximity to numerous restaurants and entertainment venues in downtown Fort Worth.
The Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown is on the point of completing an extensive transformation, making it one of Fort Worth's most significant hospitality projects. A five-member senior executive team has been assembled to steer the hotel's vision and enhance the guest experience. This team is backed by Aimbridge Hospitality, a globally renowned hospitality management company recognized for its exceptional service. General Manager Damien O'Connor is leading the team, who joined the Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown in April 2022. Together, they bring over 80 years of collective experience to elevate the hotel's profile and provide exceptional hospitality in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
The Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown, with 403 rooms, enjoys a prime location just across the street from the Fort Worth Convention Center, the scenic Water Gardens, and the new Texas A&M University Law School addition. It offers convenient access to numerous restaurants and entertainment venues, making it a hub in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. Additionally, the hotel is a short drive away from iconic attractions such as The Stockyards, Texas Christian University (TCU), and the Fort Worth Zoo.
The members of the senior executive team at the Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown include:
Courtney Towson, Director of Sales and Marketing, brings over 15 years of experience to her role, previously serving as Director of Sales and Marketing for The Sinclair Autograph Collection in Fort Worth. She spent over a decade with the Gaylord Texan before that.
Rosa Morakis, Director of Human Resources, has held similar roles at various hotel brands, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, DoubleTree, and Radisson. With a diverse background and proficiency in multiple languages, including Portuguese, English, Spanish, and Greek, Morakis is well-equipped for her role.
Bill Richards, Director of Finance, boasts more than two decades of experience in hotel accounting and finance. He has been a valued member of Aimbridge Hospitality for several years.
Kara Anderson, Director of Food and Beverage, is an accomplished professional and the first certified tea master for Starbucks. With several years of experience at the Beverly Hills Marriott, she has returned to her hometown of Fort Worth.
The Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown's $45 million renovation will mark one of the largest hotel transformations in the Fort Worth region. It was started in the fall of 2022; the project is on track to be finalized by the end of the current year. The comprehensive renovation encompasses the hotel's exterior and interior, focusing on creating a more vibrant and spacious environment based on valuable input from guests.
The redesign includes a reimagined entrance, an increased number of suites, and the addition of practical work-space studios tailored for small meetings and versatile use. Adding to the enhanced guest experience is the debut of West+Stone, a signature restaurant bar offering a range of dining options from breakfast to late-night dinners.
The hotel's in-house dining option, &More by Sheraton, will provide an all-day menu and a diverse selection of beverages, catering to both in-hotel dining and takeaway. In addition, the construction has been carried out in stages, allowing the hotel, with its nearly 30,000 square feet of conference space, to maintain operations during most of the renovation process.