A Pioneering Path

Monica Ortiz, Managing Director at Rosewood Baha Mar

What initially inspired you to get into the hospitality business? My inspiration stems from my family who always embody hospitality and friendliness towards others. Growing up, we often lived in tourist destinations due to my father’s career in civil engineering, and I cherished our vacations together as some of my happiest times. These experiences fueled my desire to bring that same feeling of joy to others. I was also lucky to study business administration under professors with real-life, industry experience who motivated me to pursue internships in hotels and restaurants—ultimately shaping the path that led me to where I am today.

Who were some of your mentors or role models, male or female, and what were their most valuable lessons? My dad was my first mentor. He imparted a valuable lesson about the importance of relationships in life. He always emphasized keeping doors open because you never know what tomorrow may bring.Throughout my career in the hospitality industry, I’ve had several remarkable mentors, both male and female, who have had a significant impact on my growth. From luminaries like Horst Schulze and Edward Steiner to trailblazers such as Alejandra Vicenttin, Jackie Volkart, George Sotelo, Paul Jones, Graeme Davis, Karin Salinas, and Daniel Scott, these mentors have offered unique leadership approaches and taught me invaluable life lessons that have helped me grow as a hotelier. 

In your opinion, how is the lodging industry doing in terms of getting women into leadership positions? In my opinion, our industry is making progress, but there’s still room for improvement. I firmly believe that by setting positive examples, providing support, and communicating with younger generations, we can instill the confidence for women to dare and aspire to higher positions. It’s about fostering an environment where everyone feels empowered to reach their full potential, regardless of gender. We’re on the right path at Rosewood Hotels & Resorts where we introduced a program called “Rosewood Empowers” in 2022. Equity is the primary mission of this program. Equity for our associates, and equity for the communities where we operate Rosewood hotels, resorts, and residences. We believe in leading by example, like myself. I’m proud to be the first female managing director with Rosewood Baha Mar.

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