At Hawkins International, we’re lucky enough to get the chance to work with strong and intelligent women on a daily basis, be it with our colleagues or clients. We always welcome the opportunity to celebrate those powerful personalities and are proud to be able to shine the spotlight on female leaders and executives paving their own way in the hospitality industry. Read more to be inspired, and be sure to share with the women in your life who inspire YOU to reach for bigger and better things!
As Founder and President, Jennifer Hawkins has overseen the growth of Hawkins International Public Relations from a one-woman start up to a major player in public relations, media relations, and digital communications for the luxury travel and lifestyle industries. Yet even as the agency has grown to more than 30 employees, maintained a robust roster of world-class international clients, expanded with a Los Angeles office, and launched a new division focused on wellness and beauty, Jennifer remains committed to the boutique and approachable culture she first shaped at the start back in 2002.
Jennifer fell for travel as a girl traveling with a Eurail Pass through Europe with her father. A veritable globetrotter with more than 50 countries across 6 continents stamped on her passport, she long ago gleaned that travel isn’t just about the visitor’s experience – it’s also about providing a real economic impact to countless destinations. She never thought Hawkins International would grow as it has – “I call myself the accidental entrepreneur” – but she has enjoyed the journey. “I can honestly say the majority of clients we’ve signed have come because of our reputation, and they stay because they know we will innovate and deliver.”
The Logan Hotel
JoAnn Wrenn is the General Manager of The Logan Hotel, where she oversees all day-to-day operations of the 391-room address on Logan Square in downtown Philadelphia, including departmental management, sales and marketing, recruitment, and ensuring an authentic hospitality experience for guests inspired by the heart and soul of the city.
Wrenn arrived at The Logan from JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek, where as General Manager for four years she cultivated a collaborative team and created a climate of creative thinking, innovation, and superior service. The hotel was the second in Denver to tap Wrenn’s talents: She also spent four years first as Area Director of Sales & Marketing, then as General Manager of The Curtis Denver – A Doubletree by Hilton Hotel. Previously, Wrenn rose in management on the sales side at luxury and upscale hotel and resort properties, including as Senior Travel Industry Sales Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in Florida; Director of Sales at The Paramount Hotel, an Ian Schrager property in New York City; Director of Sales & Marketing at Wyndham Bristol Hotel in Washington, DC; and Director of Sales at Wyndham Dublin Hotel in Ohio. Wrenn got her start in the industry as a Front Desk Associate at Wyndham San Antonio Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.
A native of Philadelphia, PA, Wrenn has received several acknowledgments of her professional prowess over the years, including honors of Rookie of the Year and Property of the Year in 2012 from Sage Hospitality for her role at The Curtis Denver. And during her turn as GM of JW Marriott Cherry Creek in 2016, Condé Nast Traveler ranked the property #9 among Top Hotels in the American West. A busy mom to four kids, when she’s not relaxing at home with family and friends, Wrenn enjoys exploring Philadelphia’s culinary scene.
Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris
Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris is home to the destination’s first and only Art Concierge, Julie Eugène, who curates exclusive art excursions throughout the city. Through Julie, guests have access to the contemporary art scene in Paris, which is known for being a frontrunner in creative exhibitions and a mecca for artists. With several new exhibitions opening in 2019, travelers can experience one-of-a-kind access to auctions, live performances, concerts, artist workshops, private galleries and more with the help of the personal guide. In addition, Julie shows guests the hotel’s private art collection at the Art District boasting more than 350 contemporary works as well as hosts a rotation of seasonal art exhibitions. The Parisian Palace is proud to be home to Julie who uses her individual artistic experience and passion to fuel her role.
Born and raised in Destin, Florida – the Luckiest Fishing Village in the World – Captain Brandy Miles is well known in the Florida Panhandle as the only female fishing Captain at HarborWalk Charters. Growing up on the water and fishing with her dad since she could walk, Captain Brandy started as a deckhand, learning the secrets of fishing the Emerald Coast and navigating the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. At just 29-years-old, Captain Brandy is a second-generation Boat Captain and a proud mom of five. When she’s not on the water, she can be found spending time with her husband and children or volunteering in the local community. Her favorite part about her job is teaching kids, visitors and locals alike, how to reel in the big ones, “We treat everyone onboard like family, not dollar signs,” says Captain Brandy.
At DUKES LONDON, a historic boutique hotel located just five minutes from Buckingham Palace, women lead the charge. Debrah Dhugga, Managing Director of the DUKES COLLECTION, is one of the few female managing directors of a five-star hotel and restaurant group in the luxury European market. With a background in the hospitality industry for world-famous brands, Debrah has built an impressive portfolio of strategic leadership and creativity and has been named on the Northern Power Women’s Top 50 Power List. Drawing upon her personal experience as a frequent solo female business traveler, she created the concept of the Duchess Rooms at DUKES LONDON, a discreet luxury service catering solely to women traveling alone, and also is a founder of the Leading Ladies of London Networking Club where she mentors young women and supports female managers.
Amy Finsilver is one of the only female General Managers in the Boston area – continually exceeding expectations of the XV Beacon located in the quaint Beacon Hill. Since her start at the property in 1999, Finsilver has maintained XV Beacon’s incomparable luxury while heightening the hotel’s guest experience and status within the community. Through creativity, innovation and tireless pursuit of excellence, she has proven successful at every turn. Indeed, under Finsilver’s watch XV Beacon’s return-guest rate runs 70 percent. Finsilver lends her expertise outside the hospitality realm as well, consulting on customer service and sales for companies such as The Rallye Motors Group in Glen Cove, New York and Healthworks in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She has also recently engaged in local volunteer efforts including MSPCA Angell Hospital, Young Professionals of the Boston Public Library and the American Heart Association.
Sunrise Springs Spa Resort
Sunrise Springs Spa Resort‘s Medical Director, Dr. Sally Fisher, M.D empowers guests to take charge of their health and live their best life through her role leading the resort’s Integrative Medicine program. In her role, Dr. Sally takes a holistic approach to health and well-being looking into guests medical history, lifestyle, to develop a health plan that supports their needs and goals. From tackling gut health and digestions issues, uncovering factors impacting a person’s sleep health, to preventative health measures and integrative medicine plans – the opportunities are endless. Dr. Fisher received her B.A. in Psychology from Yale University summa cum laude. She then earned her M.D. at the University of New Mexico, where she received the Faculty Award for Outstanding Senior. Dr. Fisher earned her M.S. in Community Medicine at Mt. Sinai/New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Fisher is board certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine, the American Board of Holistic and Integrative Medicine and the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is home to the exclusive Grocery Guru and Nutritionist, Staci Shacter, MS RD LDN. In her role, Staci takes guests on an interactive nutrition-excursion where she debunks health myths of the grocery store and leaves guests with a diet, and shopping list tailored to their health and dietary needs. During the consultation guests will go to Publix where their nutritionist will guide them in understanding labels, finding healthy food swaps for their guilty pleasures, to selecting the food that is best for their lifestyle. The best thing about this experience is that the benefits of the Grocery Guru consultation goes beyond the excursion and teaches guests how to achieve and maintain a healthier diet plan.
In a male-dominated industry, Robin Kennedy stands out amongst the crowd as the Executive Vice President, Acquisitions & Development at Montage International. Robin is leading the charge in the development of Montage Hotels & Resorts and Pendry Hotels. Carefully assessing opportunities both domestically and internationally, Robin forecasts and reviews trends in real estate and the industry to seek out smart development and investment opportunities for Montage International. Robin achieved a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School.
Monica Quintero is the Chief Operating Officer at Lifeafar, a Medellin-based real estate investment and hospitality firm offering premium custom-designed apartments available for short and long term rental in Colombia. Monica is currently working on creating a way to take the company’s successful Colombian business model and scale it to new locations. If this is done efficiently it will bring opportunities to those markets in terms of investments, tourism and creating new jobs for local people. One of Lifeafar’s future goals is to start pushing community among its tourism projects, as this will help clients and investors to feel more like home when traveling and investing with the company. Monica is also working towards potential investments in Portugal, Perú, Panamá maybe other parts in Europe and maybe Asia.
Monica’s mission is to feel fulfilled as much as a professional as a woman, in other words, to be happy. Every day she wakes up with that in mind and the way she finds to do it is by having a balanced life, she does a little bit of everything, works super hard, but also enjoys her family, works out, goes out with friends, spends time with her coworkers, and always tries to keep developing her spiritual dimensions. One of the most important things for her is to always be learning something new so she makes sure that is the case. She also uses her gifts of intelligence, magnetism, and optimism to cultivate the self-esteem and impact the people around her, in ways in which each person can find their purpose and achieve their goals.