Pushing Through Boundaries

Stephanie Atkisson, Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Revenue, Raines

What initially inspired you to get into the hospitality business? My mother, Janine Goodin, was a catering manager for a full-service hotel. I was fortunate to be able to join my mother and her team on sales calls and MOD (manager on duty) shifts as a teenager. My experiences during those moments allowed me to see a future in the industry.

Who were some of your mentors or role models, male or female, and what were their most valuable lessons? Peggy Berg was a mentor when deciding on my next steps in the industry. She taught me how to listen and relate to perspectives, as well as push through boundaries with professional relationships to take the steps needed to grow. Mike Hines taught me toughness, tenacity, and business logic. I now have the confidence to stand behind my decisions and know that my voice matters. Finally, Kimberly Rowell taught me to be the ‘Best Me.’ She challenged me to work on being the best version of myself every day.

In your opinion, how is the lodging industry doing in terms of getting women into leadership positions? I have seen a transformation in the last 15 years. In executive meetings, we had maybe 2-3 women at the table. Now, I have the pleasure of working with more than eight strong female leaders who are paving the way for the future. To continue the forward progression, we will need to adapt and flex as needed to allow for work-life balance.

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