NEWH - Winter 2020 - 8

GUEST PERSPECTIVE

My Hospitality Journey
LANEE S. BURNS
Lanee S. Burns & Associates, LLC

I

have been in the hospitality industry for 22 years. I began my career in 1998, at one of the
top purchasing firms in the industry, Higgins Purchasing Group, with THE Steve Higgins.
I graduated from Sonoma State with a BA in African American Studies. So, becoming a
purchasing agent was not in my career path. When I started working at Higgins, I was one
of three African Americans at the time in our San Francisco office. I did not know anything
about the hospitality industry. I was introduced to this firm by Chris Clingshoff (the African
American male) who saw me at the temp agency in their building. When I interviewed, Nicole
Garratt (the African American female) came into my interview and was excited to see me.
Maybe she was just excited to see another Black face, but it was very welcoming.

Lanee S. Burns

As I continued my journey at Higgins, I thought this industry was very interesting and
everyone was nice and friendly. I did notice that I never saw any African American sales reps
come to our office, so I always wondered "are we the only Black people in this industry and
at this firm?" As I attended tradeshows and traveled, I continued to notice the lack of Black
people in the industry. It has always been a question: "Why do I rarely see them at shows, in
magazines, or on panels?" The question sticks in my mind to this day.
I left Higgins Purchasing in 2002 and moved to Los Angeles. I worked with a manufacturing
company, went back into purchasing, and finally landed in sales in 2003. I became a multiline sales consultant in 2005, and launched Lanée S. Burns & Associates, LLC. I will tell you,
when I first came into sales in 2003, a white male sales consultant told me that I would not
make it as a sales consultant in this industry, as I was not married and was a single mom. My
first thought was, "WTF did he just say to me?" But my verbal response was, "Really?" After
that conversation, I called a few of my white female sales consultant contacts and asked
whether they ever were warned about becoming a sales consultant due to being a mom or
not married? They indicated to me that no one ever told them that or placed doubt on their
success. I have wondered for years if he told me this out of concern? Did he tell me this
because he was scared of a little sales competition, or did he tell me this because he did not
believe this Black girl could make it and be successful in this industry? I always like to believe
that race does not play a part in business, but it makes a person wonder.
At many companies I represent, I am the only Black sales rep. Sometimes I am the only Black
person in their entire company. It has never bothered me much. Growing up in Los Angeles
and attending predominately white schools and attending Sonoma State where we had less
than 5 percent Black students in the entire college, I was always aware that there will be
many times that I will be the only Black person in the room. So, working with these companies
never bothered me as long as the owners, the sales manager, and my sales team treated me
fair, professionally, and with respect. I must say, all the companies that I have worked for have
treated me with all of that and more.

8	

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NEWH - Winter 2020

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

NEWH - Winter 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRESIDENT’S LETTER
NEWS
GUEST PERSPECTIVE
GUEST PERSPECTIVE
WHO’S WHO
CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
HAVE YOU SEEN?
SCHOLARSHIPS
SCHOLARSHIP HEROES
INTERVIEW
SUSTAINABILITY
Q&A: EDGAR GUTIERREZ
Q&A: BRITTANY SPINNER
Q&A: VANESSA VAUGHAN
ON THE COVER
PROJECT: WHITE ELEPHANT PALM BEACH
PROJECT: TERRAMOR OUTDOOR RESORT
PROJECT: citizenM SEATTLE
PROJECT: MELT BY MELISSA
PROJECT: LEFAY RESORT
CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
SAVE THE DATE
NEW MEMBERS
PARTNER PROFILES
AD INDEX
NEWH - Winter 2020 - NEWH - Winter 2020
NEWH - Winter 2020 - Cover2
NEWH - Winter 2020 - TABLE OF CONTENTS
NEWH - Winter 2020 - PRESIDENT’S LETTER
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 5
NEWH - Winter 2020 - NEWS
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 7
NEWH - Winter 2020 - GUEST PERSPECTIVE
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 9
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 10
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 11
NEWH - Winter 2020 - GUEST PERSPECTIVE
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 13
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 14
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 15
NEWH - Winter 2020 - WHO’S WHO
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 17
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 18
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 19
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 20
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 21
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 22
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 23
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 24
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 25
NEWH - Winter 2020 - CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 27
NEWH - Winter 2020 - HAVE YOU SEEN?
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 29
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 30
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 31
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 32
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 33
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 34
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 35
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 36
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 37
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 38
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 39
NEWH - Winter 2020 - SCHOLARSHIPS
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 41
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 42
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 43
NEWH - Winter 2020 - SCHOLARSHIP HEROES
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 45
NEWH - Winter 2020 - INTERVIEW
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 47
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 48
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 49
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 50
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 51
NEWH - Winter 2020 - SUSTAINABILITY
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 53
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 54
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 55
NEWH - Winter 2020 - Q&A: EDGAR GUTIERREZ
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 57
NEWH - Winter 2020 - Q&A: BRITTANY SPINNER
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 59
NEWH - Winter 2020 - Q&A: VANESSA VAUGHAN
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 61
NEWH - Winter 2020 - ON THE COVER
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 63
NEWH - Winter 2020 - PROJECT: WHITE ELEPHANT PALM BEACH
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 65
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 66
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 67
NEWH - Winter 2020 - PROJECT: TERRAMOR OUTDOOR RESORT
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 69
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 70
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 71
NEWH - Winter 2020 - PROJECT: citizenM SEATTLE
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 73
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 74
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 75
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 76
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 77
NEWH - Winter 2020 - PROJECT: MELT BY MELISSA
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 79
NEWH - Winter 2020 - PROJECT: LEFAY RESORT
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 81
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 82
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 83
NEWH - Winter 2020 - CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 85
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 86
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 87
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 88
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 89
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 90
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 91
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 92
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 93
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 94
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 95
NEWH - Winter 2020 - SAVE THE DATE
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 97
NEWH - Winter 2020 - NEW MEMBERS
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 99
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 100
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 101
NEWH - Winter 2020 - PARTNER PROFILES
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 103
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 104
NEWH - Winter 2020 - 105
NEWH - Winter 2020 - AD INDEX
NEWH - Winter 2020 - Cover3
NEWH - Winter 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