Category Archives: Events

Women in Hospitality & Tourism

9 Ways to Drive Success for Today’s Leading Women Executives in Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality

The Travel Industry Executive Women’s Network held it’s inaugural conference July 30-31 at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena. The high level takeaways from the event are in the article entitled “9 Ways to Drive Success for Today’s Leading Women Executives in Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality” with the link to read the entire article below.

Women in the industry are continuously looking for ways to connect and TIEWN was created on LinkedIn to accomplish just that with the group now more than 8,100 professionals around the world.

The gap between the number of women and men, who occupy top spots at companies, boardrooms, and conferences, continues to be wide.

Executive Women's Conference 2014

Executive Women’s Conference 2014

While the female perspective of two of the largest hotel conferences in the U.S. this year was largely missed (149 men speakers compared to only 14 female speakers at a recent New York hotel conference and 179 men compared to 27 women speakers at a Los Angeles hotel conference), more and more women are stepping into the industry.

TIEWN Conference - Wellness Panel

Executive Women’s Conference 2014

As the only association focused on boutique hotels globally, the BLLA (Boutique Lifestyle & Lodging Association) set out to uncover key insights and perspectives to drive success for today’s top women executives and CEOs in the travel and hospitality sector.

At the inaugural Travel Industry Executive Women’s Network Conference, women could find insights and guidance from some of the most respected top executives in the travel and hospitality industries on how to improve their status, grow their companies, and ultimately excel.

Read the entire report:  CLICK HERE

Life and all it holds for us in this industry

I have been remiss in keeping up with this Blog.  No excuses, so here I/we are again to talk about life.

What brought me to talking about life was an email from one of my staff about the passing of a leader in travel and tourism who I have known since my first day working in the industry with Carlson Travel.

Michelle Morgan, CEO at Signature Travel, worked tirelessly over so many years in the industry and made a terrific number of contributions to travel agents and suppliers to travel and tourism.  I remember her brilliance at Carlson with fond memories.  She was always so creative and so committed to whatever project she was working on.

We always hope, through our careers, that someone will notice the good that we are doing and hope that we can achieve this recognition during our time alive on earth.   Personally, I know so many people in our industry who give of themselves, of their capital and of their heart to helping others.

I make it a goal to ensure they are not forgotten and are celebrated in some way during their lives.  If you know of someone who deserves to be celebrated, you may email me for recognition here or enter them into our AWARDS for Person of the Year, or Hotelier of the Year.  Here is the link:



Frances Kiradjian
Founder and Chairwoman

Authenticity – have it and win!

When searching for a new car, what do you take into account before making the final decision?

Price, gas mileage efficiency, and safety features are all common answers. But even more importantly, the authenticity and dependability of the car and brand weigh significantly into your decision.

The same is true when deciding which hotel to stay at. You look for properties that are committed to the guests and offer authentic services. The Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) resonates with this idea of authenticity and ensures that this theme is apparent in every aspect of the organization. Within the hospitality industry, it is imperative not to confuse imitation with legitimacy.

In uniting boutique and lifestyle properties all around the globe, BLLA assures authenticity is displayed in all areas of involvement in order to enhance the image of the members. When securing a new property, a vetting process is conducted to uncover all features of the hotel. It is essential for the property to exhibit dependability with their interactions with guests, vendors, as well as their own employees. This commitment to the authenticity of their approach is vital to BLLA. Without credibility, boutique properties lose their main asset, customers. Guests become apprehensive if they believe the endeavors or service offerings are fabricated.

In addition to obtaining credible boutique and lifestyle properties, the authenticity of BLLA events is highly regarded and paramount to the organization. In connecting boutique/lifestyle properties and suppliers, again this theme of authenticity must be presented by BLLA itself, projecting their legitimacy within the hospitality industry. BLLA makes sure that all aspects of their conferences and programs are genuine, ranging from the speakers to the actual venue. It is critical for BLLA to demonstrate authenticity to strengthen the reputation of their properties and the suppliers that sustain them.

It’s a Wrap!

The Inaugural Boutique & Lifestyle Leadership Symposium, held last week Oct. 22-24, 2012 at the Hollywood Roosevelt, a Thompson Hotel, was a smashing success!

The event, produced by BLLA (Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association) shot off into new space not seen by the industry in quite awhile, if at all.  It’s a simple concept but one that seems to have been overlooked by most conferences today.  That is …. taking care of attendees as if they were checking into a five star hotel. 

CEO Panel Discussion

From the non-commercialized and professional-looking conference garb (lanyards, bags and the such) to the tidbits of surprises during the panel discussions such as the hotel chef serving up oxygen-laced popcorn, the event was seen as innovative and inspiring from start to finish.

Here are some of the words used to describe attendees experience (from non-solicited emails received the day after the event):

achievement environmental leadership specialty
advantge excellence networking spectacular
agility excellent new streamed live
amazing exceptional opportunity success
appreciation extraordinary passionate talented
approachable fantastic perfect technological
assembling fresh perserverence the best
attention fun personal think-tank
caring heavy-hitters perspective thrilled
compelling historic positive thrilling
competitive honor powerhouse trends
congratulations immaculate preferences unique
connectivity individual privilege valued
current inspiring productive  vision
deeper interesting proud warm
delight intimate refreshing well-executed
dreams intriguing  relationship well-planned
electrifying knowledge relevant well-run
engaging  leaders smart wonderful 

Further testimonials are available here:

We will be writing more in the coming days of the panel discussions, entertainment and other events surrounding the Symposium.

Signing off for now.

BLLA Founder, Frances Kiradjian