This month in partnership with AdventHealth for women, we recognize some women in our community who are dedicated to others, starting families, supporting their loved ones and / or building their careers. Whether they know it or not, their stories inspire other women near and far.
Meet Susie Young
Susie Young brings nearly three decades of hotel management and leadership as CEO of the Lake Nona Wave Hotel. As general manager, Susie oversees the 234-room hotel, including the Bacán restaurant, Living Room bar and HAVEN Kitchen and Lounge. She rejoins the CoralTree team after overseeing asset management at six hotels in Arizona, California and Washington, DC
Susie has received the Hotel Hero Lifetime Achievement Executive Award from the San Francisco Hotel Council, the Western Region’s Most Innovative Hotel Award and the District Operations Manager of the Year Award while working at Homestead Studio Suites Hotels.
What’s your WHY?
The real gift of my current role is the opportunity to support others in my career and give to them just as my teachers gave me. The general manager is not just a tactical role that focuses on the hotel’s success in numbers; I am focused on managing and mentoring my team, no matter what stage they are in their career. Every day I have the opportunity to listen and learn from my colleagues and I don’t take it for granted.
What pushes you to put one foot ahead of the other on the hardest days?
I strive to be the best every day because I know I have a team that relies on my leadership to create a welcoming work environment. I must be present for them to ensure that the hotel is a safe place that inspires happiness and motivation every day.
Did you draw inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who inspired you.
There are so many women I have been inspired by – personally and professionally. The first thing that comes to mind is Carla Murray, president of Marriott International. I was her ward many years ago and she constantly offered me a lot of feedback on how to become a great leader and also introduced me to the world of brands and hotels. I’m paying this now to ensure that I always have a platform to give others the same opportunity – especially those who don’t necessarily raise their hands.
What one word perfectly explains who you are?
Would you change anything in the way you have coped with the challenges and successes so far in your life?
Early in my career, I would like to turn to teachers and leaders more often. You need allies to help you grow and move forward in your career. Establishing relationships at an early stage would be very helpful – especially for learning from your own experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and talk.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud to have taken the thoughtful risk and trusted my working community at both Tavistock and CoralTree by opening the Lake Nona Wave Hotel last year. Our management team and I recruited more than 180 team members in the midst of a pandemic and successfully opened the Wave on December 20thth2021. It’s been a summer process, and what we’ve only done in the last 90 days makes me proud of the over-focused and talented team I work with.
What is the biggest problem you have faced and what have you learned from it?
Running my first marathon was challenging. I never thought I had the ability to run long distances, but with proper training and mentality I ran my first marathon in San Francisco. It taught me that you can really do whatever you want; it’s all about mental training and adjusting my thinking that I’ve now also applied to my career.
Want more things like that?
Get the best local stories right in your inbox!