Hooked on Hospitality

Lovell Casiero, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, PM Hotel Group

What initially inspired you to get into the hospitality business? I was not specifically seeking a hotel career. A friend told me about a position at a hotel as the administrative assistant to the director of catering (DOC). Two weeks into the position, the DOC left. Having very little training, I did the best I could to assist the director of sales & marketing. The experience revealed that hospitality rewards you for your work ethic and you can quickly advance. I loved what I was doing, and I have been hooked ever since!

Who were some of your mentors or role models, male or female, and what were their most valuable lessons? Dave McCaslin gave me my first director of sales position. As a role model, he taught me to never forget where I came from. He also taught me that your title doesn’t negate the obligation to check in and be accessible to those who are several stops behind you in their career journey. He also believed you should have fun and enjoy your work.

In your opinion, how is the lodging industry doing in terms of getting women into leadership positions? The industry does a great job of getting women in. Some statistics say at the director level, 57 percent of the positions are held by women. The existing problem is that as you move up to VP, SVP, CCO, and CEO positions, the percentage of women in these roles shrinks significantly. We must do a better job of articulating our values and advocating for ourselves. Decision makers need to recognize feminine leadership attributes have never been more important than in the workforce of today. 

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