top of page

Work Friends Matter to YOU

Friendship matters to YOU! Especially work friends. The overwhelming and heartwarming responses to my column Why Making Friends at Work Matters, on Linkedin, Instagram, and Facebook, inspired us to check in with herteliers to learn more about the bonds you formed that turned colleagues into friends.

hertelier linkedin post about friendship

What better way to kick off Women's History Month than celebrating our girlfriends, "work wives," and even some "work husbands"!?! Isn't this just how we women roll...we build community wherever we go and we thrive off the support and bonds that unite us. With that in mind, here's what we heard from you.


Trina Notman and Lee Yakubowich, VP of Finance & Business Development at Accent Inns Inc
Lee Yakubowich, VP of Finance & Business Development, Accent Inns Inc with Trina Notman, VP of Marketing & Communications

“I met Lee at our Head Office on my first of working at Accent Inns Inc. Turned out we lived in the same building-- I was on the ground floor facing the courtyard and he was on the fourth floor. also facing the courtyard. One day, he told me his BBQ cover blew off his balcony and was now in the courtyard and considered it lost forever. When I went home that day, I hopped over my fence (this wasn’t allowed), recovered his BBQ cover, and returned it to him. That about “covers” how we bonded right from day one.

Since then, Lee and I have always had each other’s backs, at work and in life. As an example, in March, I have to go back to the BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference, where at last year’s, I was very vocal about speaking out against sexist remarks made at the podium. So not everyone loves me in that space because of it. Lee quickly offered to go with me, even though it really isn’t a conference for Finance people, plus its way up north in a very cold town. It was so sweet for him to offer, and he is a big guy so I would feel very safe.

And that’s the essence of our friendship… supporting and celebrating each other through all life’s milestones.”


Robin Moncrieffe & Niki Wade, Co-Hosts

Niki Wade and Robin Moncrieffe Don't look under the bed podcast
Niki Wade and Robin Moncrieffe

Robin: Niki and I have known each other 20+ years. We met at a Marriott property as Niki was starting her hospitality career. She was a participant in the Manager in Training program, and I was working at my 5th hotel transitioning from operations into Sales.

NIKI: Me (Niki) freshly graduated from college, was elated to see someone who looked like me, doing what I wanted to do! Seeing just one face that looked like mine, let me know this is possible! The road ahead would prove sometimes there's no one, only one, or being the first one!

Robin: We bonded instantly and our difference in age didn’t matter. We did not need to code switch and we could be ourselves. Until that time I had been the only Black person in management (in staff meetings, sales meetings, and conferences). With Niki by my side, I was no longer the “only one” trying to navigate. We became each other’s biggest cheerleaders. The hospitality industry is small and with so few that looked like us, it was important that we take advantage of the opportunity and represent. Or as Niki would say, “revolutionize the sales process.”

Niki: It's very important as we encourage, mentor, and cheer for one other. I can't stress enough the value of having someone in your corner to help navigate things- even when we don't have answers. I know that I have someone who's in this business, who's a friend that gets it and will also correct, make suggestions and help me grow as I move forward in my career and life goals.

Robin: My friendship with Niki means there is someone who understands exactly what I am going through. It could be a big client contract, a new job to celebrate, a microaggression, or imposter syndrome… we are here for one another every single day. We are ”frentors” that have watched each other grow and motivate one another daily. We hold each other accountable to represent and deliver the abracadabra at work and in life.


(left to right) Mary Mattson-Quagliana, Eileen Madigan, Siobhan O'Leary, Marcie Lieberman
(left to right) Mary Mattson-Quagliana, Eileen Madigan, Siobhan O'Leary, Marcie Lieberman

Marcie Lieberman, SIOBHAN O'LEARY, Eileen Madigan ASID, Che Dunnahoo-Samples, and Marcia Kelly are the best! Rosewood Hotels & Resorts brought us all together as colleagues and we grew our relationship as friends filled with laughter, stories, and cocktails. Cheers to our friendship!

In 2004, I started working as the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at The Carlyle Hotel, in NYC. It was my first job out of college. Marcie was the Hotel Manager and Siobhan was the Director of HR. As I moved in my career, I decided to go into Operations and Marcie became my boss. She was awesome and I learned so much from her. Nothing rattled her, solutions-focused with a get-it-done attitude. When she was promoted to Managing Director at the Inn of Anasazi and moved to Santa Fe, NM, I was tempted to go with her but felt I had still more to learn at The Carlyle.

The Training Manager position came open and Siobhan asked if I would be interested in moving to HR, which I did. And now Siobhan was now my boss, who brought another leadership skill set to the table. Whenever she showed up to a meeting, an event, or just walked around the hotel she engaged with every single employee. Not just a quick hi, how are you, but taking the time to truly ask and listen to their response. Although my initial relationship with Marcie and Siobhan was boss-employee, it quickly grew to friendship.

In September 2008, I moved to Dallas, TX to take on the role of Director of Learning & Development for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. This is when I met Eileen Madigan, Director of Interior Design and Che Dunnahoo, Director of IT. We became instant friends. But February 2009, Marcie joined us at the corporate office as the Senior Director of Operations. We all had extensive travel schedules being responsible for property openings, as well as operating properties. However, we made sure that Wednesday after work was our night together for drinks and dinner. It takes a special relationship to be able to work and play and not get sick of each other. And then, wait for it...Siobhan moved to the corporate office as the Director of HR in 2010. As she says, "the band is back together".

The five of us were and still are a force to be reckoned with. We call each other out on our stuff and we build each other up even more. The old saying goes, moments today are memories tomorrow. To me, it isn't about lifting each other up, rather I see us like the Rockettes. We make sure our kicks are high, head on straight, smile on our faces, and our arms interlocked knowing we are there for each other whether we need that extra support or not. We are constant and it never falters.

Maybe it's all of the insanity and crazy times we went through, but those hotel friends are some of my best! –– Kimberly Sundt

Truth right there from, Kimberly Sundt, founder, Bring Your Brand to Life.

Now go on and keep celebrating and cherishing your friends!


bottom of page