In Her Comfort Zone

Marina MacDonald, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Roof

Marina MacDonald

What initially inspired you to get into the hospitality business? When I was 18, I worked as a hostess at a restaurant my Uncle Vince managed. I did not like the restaurant business very much. Then, I got a job at a hotel in Philadelphia. I thought, ‘This is temporary until I find my dream job.’ The rest is history!

Who were some of your mentors or role models, male or female, and what were their most valuable lessons? I often say you must be comfortable being uncomfortable. My parents were the first to demonstrate that to me. They immigrated from Italy and were determined to make a life for our family in the States. Despite times of discomfort, they were committed. I’m glad I learned this at an early age.

In your opinion, how is the lodging industry doing in terms of getting women into leadership positions? The industry has made significant strides to advance women into leadership. At Red Roof, almost 50% of our leaders (directors and above) are women, and over 35% of our properties are owned or partially owned by women. Across the industry, we have seen this change, but we can all agree that we still have a ways to go.

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