NEWH - Fall 2020 - 8

GUEST PERSPECTIVE

exclusively in the industry in 2014, I was mentored by Dana Thompson, a veteran in the
industry and with our company of over 20 years at the time. Our competitiveness and
drive and love of language bonded us. We worked, strategized, laughed, fought, and even
cried through it all. When I, a 37-year-old Black man, was promoted and he became a direct
report, there was no resentment, only happiness for what this meant for me personally and
as a Black man. Hearing how proud and accepting he was of my leadership role brought
contentment to a worried mind.
In 2015, when I attended my first HD Summit, I met a procurement manager from Chatham
Lodging Trust named Kelly Shoaf at the first timers' happy hour. She was also relatively new
to the industry, but we partnered together and made the most of the event-she introducing
me to the people she knew or had met and I attempting to do the same for her. She was my
advocate and having her there made those introductions and the small talk that I struggle
with just that much easier.
At the same event, I met Gary Womack and Melina Garza. Gary worked for Acumen
Development and Melina for American Hotel Register at the time. I had just moved to
Chicago and, outside of the surface acquaintances I made playing basketball, it just didn't
feel like home yet. I took their "let's get in touch when we get back to Chicago" as polite ways
to exit, not knowing that my friendship with these two would make me love that city. They
invited me into their circle, their homes, and their lives with an unearned warmth considering
the brief time I knew them. I will always remember and appreciate that.
Enter Brian G. Thornton... Nearly everyone in our industry knows Brian and everyone is better
for it. He has been a trusted friend that I can turn to for advice or for perspective as he, in
the early days of his career, experienced a much less tolerant and progressive industry than
we have now. It's odd, we've never worked together professionally and yet at every event
we have a cocktail or two and catch up as friends and fellow Black men making our way in a
world that doesn't look like us.
A couple weeks prior to that personally momentous event, I attended the NEWH Leadership
Conference where Dana and I sponsored a dinner. I was seated next to Shelia Lohmiller. At
the time, I knew nothing about the history of NEWH, or even what the letters stood for. I just
knew that Dana said this organization is important for us. As the words "founding member"
and "executive director" were spoken, it became clear to me of the company I was in. The
intimidation I felt was brief as Shelia's warmth overshadowed my nerves. She told me about
the challenges she faced and the reason why NEWH came into existence. I talked about the
strength of the women in my life and the effect of losing the woman of all women, my mother.
It got real deep, real fast. Never mind breaking bread with someone-see what sharing a tear
does for relationship building?
When I reflect on Dana, Kelly, Gary, Melina, Brian, Shelia, and the countless others that made
my entrée into hospitality successful, I know that they are the type of allies that hopefully will
make the under-representation of Black people within this industry a thing of the past. You
see, they provide the positive interactions that build confidence and nurture love for what
we do. They see the world for what it is and act with an exceptional kindness, thoughtfulness
and openness that allows someone who looks like me to leave behind all that negativity
and thrive. When someone less-so attempts to incorporate a plantation tour into an event
(REALLY?!) or goes on a rant about how proud they are of their "unblemished Nordic blood"
(yup, that happened too) or any number of microaggressions we experience, I know I have
people that I can call "WTF" with and then move on. That is so very important.
I hope my fellow Black hospitality professionals have found allies that allow them to express
their individual talents and personalities unencumbered by fear or doubt. If you are such a
person, know that you are needed. If you haven't yet, make yourself known even if you must
fight through your introversion or awkward nature. Proactively reach out to someone who's
different than you. There's so much work to do in this country, but it is all built one positive
interaction at a time. ❙❘❚

8	

www.newh.org

006_NEWH_0820_GuestPers.indd 8

8/17/20 1:36 PM


http://www.newh.org

NEWH - Fall 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Fall 2020

NEWH - Fall 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRESIDENT’S LETTER
GUEST PERSPECTIVE
WHO’S WHO
CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
HAVE YOU SEEN?
SCHOLARSHIPS
SCHOLARSHIP HEROES
INTERVIEW
SUSTAINABILITY
Q&A: KELLY IRVOLINO
Q&A: MANUELA KENNEDY
Q&A: JONATHAN YOUNG
ON THE COVER
PROJECT: CONRAD NEW YORK MIDTOWN
PROJECT: MESO
PROJECT: NH COLLECTION MILANO PORTA NUOVA
PROJECT: THE CENTENNIAL
PROJECT: THE WILBUR
CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
SAVE THE DATE
NEW MEMBERS
PARTNER PROFILES
AD INDEX
NEWH - Fall 2020 - NEWH - Fall 2020
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Cover2
NEWH - Fall 2020 - TABLE OF CONTENTS
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PRESIDENT’S LETTER
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 5
NEWH - Fall 2020 - GUEST PERSPECTIVE
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 7
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 8
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 9
NEWH - Fall 2020 - WHO’S WHO
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 11
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 12
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 13
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 14
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 15
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 16
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 17
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 18
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 19
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 20
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 21
NEWH - Fall 2020 - CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 23
NEWH - Fall 2020 - HAVE YOU SEEN?
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 25
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 26
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 27
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 28
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 29
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 30
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 31
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 32
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 33
NEWH - Fall 2020 - SCHOLARSHIPS
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 35
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 36
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 37
NEWH - Fall 2020 - SCHOLARSHIP HEROES
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 39
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 40
NEWH - Fall 2020 - INTERVIEW
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 42
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 43
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 44
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 45
NEWH - Fall 2020 - SUSTAINABILITY
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 47
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 48
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 49
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Q&A: KELLY IRVOLINO
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 51
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Q&A: MANUELA KENNEDY
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 53
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Q&A: JONATHAN YOUNG
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 55
NEWH - Fall 2020 - ON THE COVER
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 57
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: CONRAD NEW YORK MIDTOWN
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 59
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 60
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 61
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: MESO
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 63
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 64
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 65
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: NH COLLECTION MILANO PORTA NUOVA
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 67
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 68
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 69
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: THE CENTENNIAL
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 71
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 72
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 73
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: THE WILBUR
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 75
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 76
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 77
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 78
NEWH - Fall 2020 - CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 80
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 81
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 82
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 83
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 84
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 85
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 86
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 87
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 88
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 89
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 90
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 91
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 92
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 93
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 94
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 95
NEWH - Fall 2020 - SAVE THE DATE
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 97
NEWH - Fall 2020 - NEW MEMBERS
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 99
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 100
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 101
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PARTNER PROFILES
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 103
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 104
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 105
NEWH - Fall 2020 - AD INDEX
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Cover3
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/newh/2021fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/newh/2021summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2021spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2020fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2020july_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2020july
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2020summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2020spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2019spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2018fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2018summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2018spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2017fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2014winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newh/2014spring
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com