Nancy Johnson’s career in hospitality spans more than 40 years, the last 25 of which were in executive roles with Carlson that include heading up the brands Country Inn & Suites™ and Radisson Hotels International. Nancy served as Chair of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) in 2012, and initiated AH&LA’s Women in Lodging Council. Nancy is recognized by many as a spokesperson for the industry, she has participated in a variety of speaking engagements, panels, and leadership programs internationally.
Nancy practically grew up in the hotel industry. By the age of 21, she was married and divorced with two small children. Since her top priority was being home with her children during the day, she took a night job as a cocktail waitress at a full service hotel. She knew she could make more money as a bartender, but the owner of the hotel told her “women don’t bartend,” so she made the tough choice to leave the hotel and started bartending at an independent bar. Within a month, the owner of the hotel realized he was losing business, so he offered her a bartending position. She was eventually promoted to front desk clerk, then Banquet Manager, and finally assistant General Manager. This was Nancy’s first leadership experience.
Nancy then worked for a construction company as a hotel specialist and stayed on through the construction of 48 new hotels. This position provided a lot of great opportunities for her, and she continued to hone her skills by taking blueprint, marketing, and real estate courses. Nancy worked for McDonalds and learned planned unit development. This lead her to become involved in local government. What Nancy loves about this industry is that there have always been many choices. However, the bottom line is always to be of SERVICE.
Do you love to mingle and meet new people or would you rather sit home and watch paint dry than subject yourself to a crowd of strangers? Today’s hospitality environment practically demands you attend conferences and other people-focused events if you’re going to be successful in business. But how do you: Make events work in read more
At the beginning of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit on Jan. 27th, a panel of women in hospitality leadership advised the audience that, in some cases, it is smart to move down a career rung to be able to make a much bigger climb up in the future. Forward, Women Advancing Hospitality, is a project read more