Women’s History Month 2022

Laura Presnol

Vice President, Talent + Culture
Davidson Hospitality Group

What are you most proud of when looking back on your career? Being able to lean into my love for serving others, my passion for being a true hotel operator and my results driven personality all together to work in the perfect job.  I have the ability every day to help identify solutions and solve problems for the amazing people that are the heart of our business.

What are some milestone accomplishments you have achieved during your tenure at Davidson? We have been able to launch a new Applicant Tracking System, update and launch our Learning Management System (aka Davidson Academy) and create and execute a uniform interview process for selecting the best talent our industry has to offer.

"I have the ability every day to help identify solutions and solve problems for the amazing people that are the heart of our business."

How do you continue to create value? Continue to focus on Best In Class candidate experience. Build, execute and adaptation of a robust Talent Lifecycle to include updated and relevant onboarding, Performance Management, organizational development and succession planning.

Can you please share 1-2 examples of how you’ve exemplified one of our core values, “Greatness Requires Risk?” Taking roles throughout my career that fell out of the ordinary path or not what I “Planned” to do. Based on advice of amazing mentors. Moved from Seattle WA to Fort Lauderdale early out of college to take a job that was going to eventually help me land my first GM job with my goal of 27.  The plan was to be gone for 18 months…that was 1997 and have not moved back since.

What are the most notable changes you’re seeing in the hospitality industry today and how do you envision the next 3-5 years?

  • Job norms are changing such as flexible schedules, gig work/shifts.  We will need to continue to think outside of 7-3p, 3-11p, 11-7a.
  • That we really need to tug on the heart strings of people that are passionate about serving others, show how a career can result from all and any jobs in our world.  We can’t just count on our industry being “just a job.” People that are looking for extra money don’t automatically think of our industry like they used to.  We are now competing with retailers like Costco and Amazon paying $17/hr and have jobs that are perceived as easier, or safer.
  • Perception and the need of having balance is now outweighing money and title.  People have reprioritized these areas and made big careers moves to display that
  • Upskilling the talent level of our existing leaders to find and develop our team members
  • Technology is more than important than ever! From the adaption of the remote workforce, how to find and communicate potential candidates and being relevant with new team member onboarding. In other words, recruit them and train them through the technology and the way they use technology at home  or in their personal life.