She Leads- Vimari Roman
We continue our series She Leads, this week featuring Vimari Roman. Growing up in the #hotelindustry, Vimari knew that hospitality was in her blood, but it wasn't until recently that she found her passion coaching, mentoring and uplifting those in the industry and strategizing their success. She now has her own business, Be Productive Coaching, where she helps high-performing professionals transition into exciting and fulfilling careers.
How did you get your start in the industry? What was your first position?
My dad was in the industry first, and therefore I grew up in hotels from as far as I can remember. My first position in the industry was part-time at the front desk of my father’s hotel (he was the GM) at the age of 15 in Long Island, New York. A year after graduating high school, I wanted to make more money, but I didn’t want to use my dad’s connections, so I put my resume together and faxed it to a bunch of luxury hotels in NYC. At 19, I was hired to work on the Upper East Side of Manhattan as a Front Desk Supervisor at the Surrey Hotel, and from there, my hospitality career took off. I spent 22 years working in hotels - ten years in operations and twelve years in Sales & Marketing before transitioning into an independent contractor and having my own business.
As a female leader in hospitality, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?
I would say that most of the barriers I faced came from myself. I have been blessed with a fantastic career but being in leadership at such a young age and leading not only men but people in general that were older than me was a bit intimidating at times. Especially at the beginning of my career. For a long time, I felt I had to carry myself more seriously than others. I was afraid that I had to dress conservative so that I wouldn’t be accused of being too sexy and of getting promotions for some other reason other than that I worked hard for it. I did not realize this until just a few years ago, and quite honestly, most of it was all in my head. As a woman I do believe that some of what I was trying to avoid is real and perhaps that is why I was extra careful. Now I can say that I worked hard, was recognized for my work, and earned every promotion. If I had not had that self-doubt and fear, I may have raised my hand for a lot more positions. This is one of the many reasons why I am so passionate about the work that I am doing today as a coach and helping others overcome these limiting beliefs.
Describe your ideal vacation:
My ideal vacation includes rest, complete disconnection, and adventure. I love nature, and I also enjoy a big city, so the destination depends on what I am in the mood for and how much time we have. I really look forward to my vacations as a way to re-charge and get my creative juices flowing, which is why I enjoy every moment by disconnecting from my work and really enjoying each day. This disconnect allows me to get back into the hustle with energy and drive to continue to be productive and make things happen.