Three Top Newport Hospitality Pros Profiled for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month

0
573
Share this:

March is Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day— a day when women worldwide are recognized for their social, cultural, economic, and political achievements.

The hospitality industry is vital to the economic health of Newport Beach, so it makes sense that Newport Beach and Company, the Destination Marketing Organization for Newport Beach, has profiled three female General Managers at the helm of some of the city’s hotel properties: Marina Dutton (Balboa Bay Resort), Erin Henry (Hyatt Regency Newport Beach) and Debbie Snavely (Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa).

Their comments help to highlight the hard work they do, what they love about their jobs and their advice for aspiring young women.

Marina Dutton

Marina Dutton, General Manager of Balboa Bay Resort

Q: How did you get started in hospitality? Give a little background about yourself.

A: I was born into hospitality, literally. Starting as a server and front desk agent, I worked my way up through operations while attending school and ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. I love hospitality because it is the perfect blend between business and people. My goal has always been to surpass my guests’ expectations and make their visit extraordinary and memorable.

I have worked for iconic hospitality companies, including Marriott International, Starwood, and HEI. I was honored to have earned the “Hotel of the Year” award from my first GM position, which would not have been possible without a talented, dedicated and committed team. I have been very privileged to have learned from the best of the best.

Q: What is a day in the life of a General Manager at Balboa Bay Resort?

A: I like to say I am a very hands-on GM—always walking the property, greeting my team and getting involved in everything. I enjoy fostering a team that loves what they do and embodies the true meaning of hospitality. The best way for me to encourage excellence and creativity is to listen to my team’s ideas, so I try to visit every department on a daily basis. Meetings are a part of daily activities; they are a way to share updates on the property, advise the team on groups and VIPS arriving and any other nuances of the daily business.

Q: What advice do you have for up-and-coming women growing their careers in hospitality?

A: While I was with HEI, I was part of the “Women in Leadership” initiative, where we helped groom female leaders to become GMs. My message would be to persevere, work hard and don’t worry about how others view you as long as you are doing what you love. Find a mentor that you admire, and create a community of hospitality professionals you can learn from. Remember to pay it back when you become a seasoned professional, and help the young professionals find their way in this amazing industry.

Q: What are your top four favorite places in Newport Beach?

A: Balboa Island, Fashion Island, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, Balboa Bay Resort (of course!)

Debbie Snavely

Debbie Snavely, General Manager of Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa

Q: How did you get started in hospitality? Give a little background about yourself.

A: My distinguished career with Marriott International began 36 years ago as a front desk intern at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel. Over the next 15 years, I remained in Anaheim, gaining invaluable leadership experience as Front Office Manager, Director of Convention Services, Director of Event Management, and ultimately Resident Manager. For the past 21 years, I’ve served as General Manager at various Southern California hotels and was a part of the opening team for several properties, domestically and internationally, including Surfer’s Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa in Queensland, Australia.

Q: What is a day in the life of a General Manager at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa?

A: Every day is different, but they all start the same. First stop: Starbucks for a cold brew with nonfat cold foam. It’s the only constant I can count on as each day unfolds.

Q: What advice do you have for up-and-coming women growing their careers in hospitality?

  • Be confident and never satisfied.
  • Strive for excellence.
  • Understand all aspects of the business.
  • Make yourself invaluable.
  • Have the courage to grow and seek opportunities.
  • Never underestimate the power of TEAMWORK!
  • Approach everything you do with the highest level of ethics and integrity.

Q: What are your top three favorite places in Newport Beach?

A: Inspiration Point, Fashion Island, Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa (I spend the majority of my time here!).

Erin Henry

Erin Henry, General Manager of Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

Q: How did you get started in hospitality? Give a little background about yourself.

A: I started my hospitality career back in 1997, where I joined Hyatt as a rollerblading cocktail server. At that time, I was young and looking for a job, not a career. That job quickly turned into a career that I fell in love with. Before joining Hyatt, I knew I wanted to do something where I could help people and show care and compassion. I found all of that with Hyatt, which continues to drive that culture daily for me.

Q: What is a day in the life of a General Manager at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach?

A: My day as a General Manager is forever changing. It starts at 4:30 a.m., which allows me to take time for myself before the day begins for others. I arrive at work to support the hotel and my colleagues in whatever may come their way. I genuinely have the best team, and it shows with their daily passion and dedication. I typically end my day with a workout before heading home to my husband and children. Of course, it ends with a nice glass of cabernet before heading to bed.

Q: What advice do you have for up-and-coming women growing their careers in hospitality?

A: Like other female leaders, I was scared to jump into a time-consuming career as I had always planned on having a family. A wise woman once shared something with me a day before my first child was born: “Don’t let time interfere with time.” That resonated as I had to learn how to balance work and life. No one could write the playbook for me. Jump in, get your feet wet, and this will be the most rewarding career you will ever have.

Q: What are your top three favorite places in Newport Beach?

A: Back Bay Nature Trail, Balboa Island, Corona Del Mar State Beach

Share this: