This month, in partnership with AdventHealth for Women, we’re recognizing some of the women in our community who are selflessly giving to others while raising families, supporting their loved ones and/or building their careers. Whether they know it or not, their stories inspire other women near and far.
Meet Suzie Yang
Suzie Yang brings nearly three decades of hospitality management and leadership to her role as General Manager at Lake Nona Wave Hotel. As general manager, Suzie oversees operations for the 234-room hotel including its signature restaurant Bacán, The Living Room Bar, and HAVEN Kitchen and Lounge. She rejoins the CoralTree team after overseeing the asset management for six hotels in Arizona, California and Washington, D.C.
Suzie received the Hotel Hero Lifetime Achievement Hotel Executive Award from the Hotel Council of San Francisco, the Most Innovative Hotel – West Region award, and Area Operations Manager of the Year award when working for Homestead Studio Suites Hotels.
What is your WHY?
The true gift of my current role is the opportunity to support others in growing their careers and giving back to them just as my mentors have given to me. A general manager isn’t just strictly a tactical role focusing on the hotel’s success by numbers; it’s a focus of mine to guide and mentor my team no matter what stage they are at in their career. Every day, I get the chance to listen and learn from my colleagues and I don’t take that for granted.
On your toughest of days, what motivates you to put one foot in front of the other?
I strive daily to be my best as I know I have a team who rely on my leadership to create a welcoming work environment. I need to be present for them to ensure the hotel is a safe place that inspires happiness and motivation every day.
Have you drawn inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.
There are so many women I’ve drawn inspiration from – personally and professionally. The first that comes to mind is Carla Murray, president at Marriott International. I was her mentee years ago and she consistently offered me so much feedback on how to be a great leader while also introducing me to the world of lifestyle brands and hotels. I pay it forward now to ensure I always have a platform to give others the same opportunity – especially those who may not necessarily raise their hands.
What is the one word that perfectly explains who you are?
Would you change anything about how you have handled challenges or successes thus far in your life?
In the beginning of my career, I wish I would have reached out to mentors and leaders more frequently. You need allies to help you grow and move forward in your career. Building relationships early on would have been so helpful – particularly in learning from their own experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and speak up.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of taking a calculated risk and trusting my work community at both Tavistock and CoralTree in opening Lake Nona Wave Hotel last year. Our leadership team and I recruited more than 180 team members in the middle of the pandemic and successfully opened up the Wave on December 20th, 2021. It was a year-long process and to see what we have done in just the past 90 days makes me so proud of the hyper-focused and talented team I get to work with.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced and what did you learn from it?
Running my first marathon was challenging. I never thought I had the ability to run long-distance, but with the proper training and mental attitude I ran my first marathon in San Francisco. It taught me that you can truly do anything you set your mind to; it’s all about training mentally and adjusting your mindset, which is something that I’ve now applied to my career as well.