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Women in NABHOOD begin 2018 with Webinar Series on Hotel Ownership

Women's Committee of NABHOOD begin 2018 with Webinar Series on Hotel Ownership

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 4:00PM


MIAMI, FL —The Women's Committee of NABHOOD (National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers) kicked off Black History Month with an introductory webinar on "What does it take for a woman to own, operate, invest in, manage or develop hotels?"  

NABHOOD's President and Founder Andy Ingraham welcomed the dynamic group of nearly 100 women connected from around the globe by emphasizing the importance of educating African Americans on investment, ownership and opportunities available in the lodging industry as hotels support $1.1 trillion in sales, including hotel revenue, guest spending and taxes. As an organization, NABHOOD's primary focus is to, not only multiply the number of African Americans at the ownership table, but to increase vendor opportunities along with executive level jobs for minorities, thereby creating wealth within the African-American community.

Women in NABHOOD Webinar Series Part 1 What does it take to for a woman to own a hotel?

The Webinar was moderated by PJ Douglas Sands who serves as NABHOOD's Director of Industry Marketing. She is the CEO of DS3 Brand Strategies shared 2017 statistics on the role of women in hospitality, tourism and lodging. Studies indicate that although women are the chief decision-makers in the household when it comes to travel and leisure choices in addition to being the majority of industry employees, only 3% are in development and investment roles. Citing the Castell Project's Women in Hospitality Leadership 2017 Survey, Douglas Sands asserted that there is definitely a need for more women CEOs, decision makers, owners, investors, operators and developers to keep the estimated $50 billion that African Americans spend annually on travel and leisure within the community to create jobs. 

Also moderating this Introductory Webinar for Women was Davonne Reaves of The Vonne Group who co-chairs NABHOOD's Women Committee.  Reaves walked participants through 12 key steps to owning a hotel, whether its new construction or an acquisition.  Reaves contended that elements like site selection, hotel valuation, identifying the right brand for your partnership, construction timelines and legal advice are paramount aspects of acquiring your first hotel or adding to an existing portfolio.

Providing key advice from the vantage point of experience was Margia Blankenship-Arnold, who is the first African-American woman to own a Candlewood Suites. Her 102 room property consists of well-appointed studios and one-bedroom suites, offering queen and king size beds, with fully equipped kitchens. Also on site is an 800 sq ft conference room and a fully equipped gym. Located in Texas, Candlewood Suites Houston Park Row is an InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) Franchised Brand that caters to the mid-market business and personal, extended stay traveler. Blankenship-Arnold emphasized the need to surround one's self with an "A" Team of experts with knowledge, relationships and experience under their respective belts. In her transition from the Oil and Gas industry to owning her first hotel, there was no substitute for the value that her team brought.

Each speaker emphasized that Black dollars do matter as the #1 challenge facing African-Americans is the tremendous capital investment needed along with bank credit.  As major chains make significant efforts to do business with minorities and African-Americans in particular, traditionally they are not as well-financed as White and Asian counterparts. Without financial resources, barriers are very high to enter this business, despite the plethora of education.

Speakers also emphasized the role of supply chain diversity and seeking out vendors to support African-American owned and managed properties. Every role from the outsourced vendor to the in-house line staff matters when calculating the number of dollars kept within the community and multiplied locally for maximum economic impact. To view the introductory webinar in its entirety, watch below. You can also download a PDF of the presentation by clicking here.

The next webinar in the Women in NABHOOD series is scheduled for Thursday, March 1, 2018, which takes a more in-depth look into hotel ownership and is geared towards women looking to invest, acquire, manage or own a hotel within the next 3-4 years. Women can click here to register. Each year NABHOOD hosts Diversity Workshops at various Brand headquarters where seasoned hoteliers and top executives illustrate to attendees what opportunities are available within the brand for ownership.

Moreover, later this year the 23rd Annual International African American Hotel Ownership and Investment Summit and Trade Show will take place July 24th to 26th, 2019 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel in Miami, Florida presented by the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD), Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine and Horizons International Marketing Group. Under the theme “Ownership - The New Paradigm” this 3-day educational summit is designed to educate hospitality students and attendees including hoteliers, entrepreneurs, national leaders, hospitality representatives, city/state/country development representatives and financial experts on becoming a hotel owner or investor, share minority investment trends, explore supplier opportunities, teach how to market to minorities and discuss diversity issues affecting the lodging industry. Registration has begun, so click here to register.






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