Senior Vice President, People & Culture
Davidson Hospitality Group
Describe your career path and how you got to where you are. I grew up in Canada and started my human resources career working in the construction and then restaurant industry. I began my career in hospitality as a Human Resources Director in San Diego, CA, and after a few years, I took a Vice President of Human Resources position for a hotel management company in San Diego overseeing human resources for about 18 properties in CA and TX. I moved on to a Regional Human Resources Director with Pyramid Hotel Group, based in Los Angeles, California overseeing hotels and resorts in HI, CA, AZ and CO. I was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources – Field Operations and relocated to Boston, MA. During my 12-year tenure with Pyramid, I oversaw the people part of hotel and resort acquisitions across the US, the Caribbean, and in Europe. My position with Davidson was intended to be a 6-month assignment but I fell in love with the company culture that is truly unlike any other company I have been a part of, and was excited to be promoted to the Senior Vice President role overseeing the Davidson’s Talent, People and Culture.
What advice to you have for women that are just entering the work force? I highly encourage the hospitality industry for women entering the workforce as it is an industry where you have opportunity to work in a variety of departments learning new skills throughout your career. Your attitude can determine your altitude and help you advance your career. Work harder than others in your role and don’t be afraid to try new things.
What are you most proud of when looking back on your career? I am proud to have played a significant part in developing others. HR interns who grew and developed to become HR Directors. I am also proud to have led the HR aspects of over 50 new hotel acquisitions/transition in the US and Europe.
What are some milestone accomplishments you have achieved during your tenure at Davidson? How do you continue to create value? I have been with Davidson for just over 1 year and have focused on adding to and developing our corporate and field People & Culture/HR team to support the field operations. Taking care of our team at every level with a focus on Davidson’s culture and core values is a top priority.
Can you please share 1-2 examples of how you’ve exemplified one of our core values, “Greatness Requires Risk?” This is a very challenging value to live by in the HR world because what I do usually means avoiding risk at all costs. However, sometimes it’s work making exceptions to rules or policies to take care of our people and give them second chances. Sometimes those exceptions, or risks, really do pay off and we build loyalty and commitment that might not have been there otherwise.
What are the most notable changes you’re seeing in the hospitality industry today and how do you envision the next 3-5 years? We are having to recruit differently than ever before. We are hiring team members and managers who don’t have previous hospitality experience. On-boarding and training is so important now more than ever for our new hires to be successful.