Buzz from the Lodging Conference which had over 2,500 attendees at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge this week––women were in the mix and on the stage more than ever before! That is not to say that there were women on every panel––not yet––but several women in attendance reported improvement in participation from previous years. Highlights included the AHLA ForWard panel, the Castell Award, DEI and ESG Panel, and the Women in Hospitality Leadership Alliance meet-up.
Before we get to what the women were up to, hertelier contributor Stacy Silver, reports from the opening Economic Outlook, where Bernard Baumohl, Chief Global Economist, The Economic Outlook Group, LLC offered an economic snapshot.
Three Major Factors are impacting the economy right now:
Unstable geopolitics––Ukraine and Taiwan are disrupting forces in the economic outlook
Pandemic––Globally we are making progress in managing the crisis, however, 32% of the world has not been vaccinated at all
FED moves––how much pain (an increase of interest rates) will they inflect to combat inflation?
Despite these headwinds, he believes in 2023 economy will continue to grow. He made the following observations:
possible 1-2 quarters of sluggish growth triggered by geopolitical factors
however, corporations are better prepared
likely oil pricing coming down
unemployment might increase but more people are entering the workforce through late next year
starting to see signs of inflation cooling
Fed expected to increase another 50 basis points in November and they may pause to see how it affects the economy.
AHLA ForWard: Women Advancing Hospitality
An all-female panel discussing a range of issues facing women was moderated by Ama Romaine, Global General Counsel Real Estate Asset Management, Blackstone, and panelists included Helen W. Jorgensen, LEED®AP, Vice President, Design and Procurement, Host Hotels & Resorts, Jagruti Panwala, President and CEO, Wealth Protection Strategies, and Venus Williams, and Founder + Owner, V Starr.
The Castell Award
The Castell Award which recognizes a female leader in the hospitality investment arena was presented by Peggy Berg, Founder, Castell: An AHLA Foundation Project, and Chip Rogers, President & CEO, AHLA to Leslie D. Hale, President & CEO, RLJ Lodging Trust, for her contributions to elevating women in the real estate area of the hotel industry.
Beyond Talking Points: DE&I and ESG
Empowering socially responsible and under-represented developers, owners, investors, employees, and franchisees was the theme of this panel.
Jennifer Fugolo, VP of Advancement, AHLA Foundation moderated the session with panelists Anne Bertsch, Vice President, North America Full Service Development, Marriott International, Rachel Humphrey, Founder, Women in Hospitality Leadership Alliance, Klaudia Porebski, GVP, Strategy, Development, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Tracy L. Prigmore, Founder & Managing Partner, TLTsolutions, Stephanie Weiler, Senior Director, ESG Services Group, Alvarez and Marsal.
Women in Hospitality Leadership Alliance Meet Up
Wyndham Women Own the Room kindly sponsored a meet-up breakfast on the final day, where most of the 24 member associations of the newly formed Women in Hospitality Leadership Alliance spoke about updates, ideas, and priorities for moving forward and advancing women in the industry.
"This group fills my cup with motivation, inspiration, and fellowship! Everyone is doing amazing work, and we are building momentum daily!" Marina MacDonald, CMO, Red Roof.