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Celebrating Father's Day: 7 Pieces of Life Advice from Our First Male Allies

As Father's Day approaches, we honor and celebrate the influential men in our lives, who are not just fathers, but mentors and friends, as well. In this special tribute collection of heartfelt advice (mainly “Don’ts") from fathers in our hertelier community, daughters––and one son—share highlights of the invaluable life lessons that have shaped these formative relationships.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Risk…or Speak Up for Yourself

I often tell my four-year-old daughter Iliana that the world is here for her, there will be no obstacles she cannot overcome and she shouldn’t be afraid to take a risk. She often tells me she wants to be a CEO. – George Limbert, President, Red Roof

eorge Limbert, President, Red Roof, and his four year old daughter, Iliana
George Limbert, President, Red Roof, and his four year old daughter, Iliana

I have three daughters; and although they have different views and personalities, one thing that I have always encouraged them to be, is to be strong and independent. I firmly believe that if you embrace your strengths and use your voice to speak up, great things can happen. In a world where we are trying to be more inclusive, I also push them to value their uniqueness, so they stay true to their authentic selves. – Arnaud de Saint-Exupéry, Area Vice President Hyatt Hotels United Kingdom & Ireland  / General Manager Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

Don’t Be Idle

My first job was at Ace Hardware in our little country, NC town when I was 13 years old. I remember my Dad telling me to never be idle. I remember him telling me if it was a slow day and the managers didn't have anything for me to do, I should clean the retail shelves. I attribute my work ethic, in part, to that conversation. – Aggie Zamir, Senior Director, National Hospitality, Cumming Group

Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

To not take life so seriously. He famously would tell us to “RELAX” if something got our goat. He taught me that helping others and just being a good person is the only way to be. Basic good lessons and trust! And that no one owes me anything - hard work pays off! Mark Ginna, retired VP of Sales, Loews Hotels

Don’t Give Up

There was a time in my twenties when I was facing a particularly hard time. I lived alone hundreds of miles away from my family, I'd lost my job and called my parents to ask them if I could move back home. My mother immediately said yes. My father, however, said no. "Stacey, you are a fighter, and I think you are giving up too easily. Stay there. Keep trying. Don't give up on yourself. We will always be here when you need us, but you can't come home. You can't give up." So, I stayed. I kept trying. I succeeded because my father believed I could, and he was willing to let me struggle on my own to prove it. –– Stacey Brown, Chief Human Resources Officer, First Hospitality

Vintage photo of Stacey Brown, Chief Human Resources Officer, First Hospitality and her father
Photo of Stacey Brown, Chief Human Resources Officer, First Hospitality, and her father from when she was a girl

Something amazing is waiting for you, Mazilli, never give up, no matter how hard things get in life! Travel and immerse in other cultures along your journeys and treat everyone you meet with the same respect, no matter who they are” – Mazilli Restrepo Serna, Director, Luxury Sales - UK, Spain & Scandinavia at Accor

Mazilli Restrepo Serna, Director, Luxury Sales - UK, Spain & Scandinavia at Accor
Mazilli Restrepo Serna, Director, Luxury Sales, Accor age 11 with her father

You can do anything you set your mind to…never give up! My Dad’s work ethic and integrity made me so proud to be his daughter! Eileen Ford, Owner, HHS

Don’t Take It Personally

I keep the piece of paper that my dad wrote this message on 15+ years ago. He left it in my closet when I was working in Atlanta during a hotel opening which was a wildly wonderful, rewarding yet stressful experience- personalities and people dynamics often come into play. The advice and note read “Prove it with performance, don’t take it personally.” Love, Dad 💗 Megan Gray Stromberg, Head of Food & Beverage Strategy at NuovoRE

Don’t Neglect Your Finances

Celeste Berke Knisely and her Dad on her wedding day
Celeste Berke Knisely and her Dad on her wedding day

My dad is a physician by trade and an Ironman by hobby. No matter how little sleep he got, I remember he was always training for a race. This taught me about discipline and not having excuses. At age 8, he told me about investing and that money doubles every 7 years. We played this game (still to this day), and when I made my first paycheck after college he helped me set aside 3 percent. 20 years of investing and heeding his advice to save every bonus and max out your 401k, I can say that I have a nest egg big enough to carry myself at retirement age. Now, self-employed, that early advice allowed me to take a step back from the traditional w-2 model and have some breathing room. Early investing pays dividends for future whether it’s personal or financial investing.–– Celeste Berke Knisely, Sales Trainer

Growing up, my dad would read through stock prices at breakfast. I asked him about it one morning and he explained to me about ticker symbols and the market. I was 10 and he helped me take my Christmas money, select a stock I was interested in (The Walt Disney Company turned out to be a pretty good investment!), and actually purchase it. I started receiving the company’s annual report and proxy statements. It started a lifelong interest in finance. –– Whitney Knight, Director, Brand Management, Homewood Suites

Wishing everyone a Happy Father’s Day this Sunday, whether celebrating in person or in spirit!


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