Sonesta is proud to celebrate the women who make up our organization. In honor of Women’s History Month, we caught up with some of our female leaders for travel-inspired advice and empowerment.

Travel as Wellness

Travel can be a powerful form of wellness. Spending time with the people I love and exploring new destinations is inspiring and invigorating.

Elizabeth Harlow – Chief Marketing & Brand Officer

Travel is a form of mental health and wellness.  It is a great way to unplug and disconnect and re-charge.  I am not much of a ‘resort vacation’ person, so for me traveling means being active and exploring the places I visit.

Iris Junge – Complex General Manager

Absolutely! SO much so that when I take my kids out of school to travel we call it their ‘enrichment days’.  Not only does travel help relax and revitalize – it fills my heart. The people and experiences I have had through travel give me a sense of appreciation for the world and the people who live in it.  It’s simple – travel is a wonderful way to reconnect with yourself and well as others, opening your heart and mind to new ways of living, loving and learning.

Jennifer Rauch – Chief People Officer

Lifting Up Women in the Industry

I always work to empower and encourage women to engage with an open voice. When women have a seat at the table, they make that table better.

Garine Ferejian-Mayo – Chief Commercial Officer

“As a woman, I’ve taken it very seriously to do everything in my power, to help, to coach, to lift other women and I think that is something that we all collectively as females, need to do a better job at. How can we support other females in the industry, how can we give them a helping hand, how can we coach, them, how can we open doors for them?

Vera Manoukian – Chief Operating Officer

I am part of the IHLA Women in Lodging Chapter and have been part of several mentor programs to help women in hospitality understand what is possible and how to reach their potential.  I also tell younger female leaders to speak up.  If you get a seat at the table, take it and make the best of it.  Be ruthless, be vocal, tell people what you want and what you can bring to the table.

Iris Junge – Complex General Manager

What Inspires You in Hospitality

“Travel is so important to the human race. It breaks barriers, enriches your soul, and opens your mind. I will always be a cheerleader for travel.”

Elizabeth Harlow – Chief Marketing & Brand Officer

It has been truly inspiring to watch and be part of a team of employees so passionate about the industry during the industry’s most difficult times. Over the last several years, these team members made it through the pandemic, the industry wide decline and their own personal worries, but they continued to demonstrate their passion for the art of hospitality and care of others.

Jennifer Rausch – Chief People Officer

“I love making a difference in people’s lives. That goes for employees as well as guests. For guests, I want the hotel feel like a home away from home and not just a place they go to sleep when they are traveling.”

Iris Junge – Complex General Manager

This month, we encourage you to celebrate the women in your life who have lifted you up in your career or impacted you as a person.

Follow along on our social channels for more Women’s History Month content through out March.