In our continued series She Leads, this week we feature Alana Miranda. Alana shares with us her passion for travel, her love of sales and relationships and Aloha from her home state of Hawaii. #womenleaders #womeninhospitality #nightingalehospitality #sheleads
How did you get your start in the industry? What was your first position?
Alana:, I had just graduated from Cannon's Business College on a scholarship program that I won in High School. I was hired by the Director of Sales & Marketing, Westin Hotels in Hawaii, as a sales assistant. I'm still in touch with her today – he would say "never burn any bridges”. I took that statement to heart and have maintained industry relationships for over forty years. I worked for two years, in Hawaii while I waited until I was of legal age in CA and then transferred to the Century Plaza in Los Angeles in 1982 as both a Sales Coordinator, and Market Research Coordinator, all the while, wanting to become a hotel sales manager. Finally, I was able to take the next career step with Brock Hotels who managed the Holiday Inn Torrance, as their Sales Manager. I was hooked. I loved the travel, the relationships and spent the next 25 years in Los Angeles in hotel sales, working for various remote sales offices for Hawaii, Mexico, Tahiti, and global sales offices.
As a female leader in hospitality, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?
Myself...staying relevant after you're in the industry for years, in my case, spanning 4 decades from the age of 19 out of business college. Each hotel company that I worked for, whether it was a big brand or a corporate managed property, I strived to learn their systems and cultures and incorporate those ideologies into my own selling and knowledge. I have learned skills to launch a hotel, reposition a renovation and to sell upscale properties as large as 3000+ rooms to small intimate hotels with less than 100 rooms.
I have continued my training through companies like Hilton and other brands. I've been sent to Morocco sales meetings with Accor traveling from NYC-Casa Blanca, Agadir and to Marrakech, and have taken Dale Carnegie Training Courses, Image and Self-Projection, Increasing Vocabulary training with CareerWorks seminars, and self-training guides, and today training offered online - all you need is the internet, I recommend that you take advantage of it. I've also been involved in my local organizations, like MPI Meeting Planners International, and especially HSMAI, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International. The biggest obstacle is expanding your comfort zone and expanding your horizons to understand and become an expert in all areas of the industry. Today, I've completed several certifications, and one offered by FAU Hospitality & Tourism Management Certification offered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are no barriers - it's up to you. Hospitality is an excellent industry for multiple opportunities both domestically, and internationally and any sector you would like to focus your talents and passion on. Find your passion, your strengths and use them to take you anywhere.
What is your favorite travel location?
As a native, I still like to go back to my roots in Hawaii. Our family took a cruise on NCL Pride of America with my husband and adult sons who really enjoyed their first cruise with the freedom of roaming the ship, exploring and meeting new friends onboard. I particularly enjoyed showing them around each island as we visited each port. In Maui, we rented a car and took them to Lahaina and Kaanapali one day, and to Haiku the next day and passed Ho'okipa windsurfing capital of the world. On the Big Island of Hawaii, we did Hilo first, and went around to see the lava fields and met up with my brother Reggie who took us around. Then onward to Kona, a former boss picked us up on Alii Drive and took us to a Vanilla Farm, and then to Kauai. I particularly was excited and impressed to show them the view of the Napali Coast. There was so much to see and share, Waimea Canyon, Sprouting Horn, Poipu and the little town of Kapa'a, Kalapaki Bay and the Ho'Ala Timbers Resort area. – This was a great trip for our family and for my husband and kids to learn about Hawaii and its beautiful landscapes.
What is your ideal vacation?
I'd love to explore more of Europe, and I feel an ideal vacation would be a cruise - either a river cruise down the Danube or Rhine River allowing us to visit each port and explore each country. Or a Greek Yacht Cruise to Rhodes, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini, and possibly include a visit to Istanbul to see the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, and even include Cyprus. My favorite cruise was a Mediterranean Cruise that included ports of calls in the Italian and French Rivieras including Monte Carlo...it was glorious!