Going for It

Dana Jacobsohn, Chief Development Officer, North America Luxury Brands & Global Mixed-Use, Marriott International

What initially inspired you to get into the hospitality business? I have always loved meeting new people, learning about their unique backgrounds and cultures, and hearing what motivates others. I’m proud to work in an industry that, at its core, is about people. Even more so, it’s inspiring to be a part of a company like Marriott that has “Putting People First” as one of its core values. Beyond that, what inspired me to work within the development space of the industry is also my love for business. I’ve always been fascinated by how an enterprise—be it a restaurant, store, or hotel—brings customers in the door and finds success. Marrying these interests has been what’s made my career in hospitality so rewarding.

Who were some of your mentors or role models, male or female, and what were their most valuable lessons? My dad has always been one of my greatest mentors and role models. He is a toy designer, and at the age of 83, he’s still working and truly loves his job. Growing up, he always encouraged me and my sisters to work hard, learn a craft, and enjoy it. He always encouraged my sisters and I to “go for it,” and I continue to let that motto guide me and my outlook on life. Because of that, the best advice I could ever give or receive is when someone offers you a new opportunity at work, even if it was not what you expected, go for it. When you are on a site tour of a hotel project and someone asks you to go on a hard hat tour of the roof, go for it. The views are worth it.

What’s your outlook for the future with regards to diversity and inclusion within hospitality? I’ve seen tremendous growth opportunities for women in the hospitality industry. It’s apparent in the industry as a whole, and I’m proud to work for a company where that really is pulled through. Within the development team at Marriott, I am inspired by the number of female associates in our group, as we continue to focus on expanding opportunities for women and hopefully continue seeing more of us in leadership roles.  

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