Lisbeth Ceballos is an accomplished expert in hospitality management. She leads at G6 Hospitality as vice president of housekeeping operation and services.
Ceballos, a native of Venezuela, has overcome many challenges in her upward climb to success. Few people know the adversity she has faced and continues to deal with because Ceballos puts others before herself – even when they don’t deserve it.
On Oct. 14, 2018, Ceballos and her 11-year-old daughter were attending the Concacaf Women’s Championship, a soccer tournament, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Like hundreds of other fans, Ceballos wore a Concacaf T-shirt. She made a trip to the restroom, and when she was washing her hands another woman, who wore the same commemorative T-shirt, told Ceballos to deal with an overflowing toilet. Besides assuming Ceballos was in janitorial services, she also assumed she could not speak English and made hand motions in an effort to interpret her command.
Ceballos wrote in a blog, titled “A Latina in USA,” on her LinkedIn page the next day: “I was so perplexed, I couldn’t even answer, which appeared to aggravate her and after a few, not nice words, she walked off.”
Ceballos was boiling mad. She stepped outside and took several deep breaths. She remembered one of her life lessons: “I can only control how I react to situations, so I chose to get back to my daughter and the game.”
On her blog, she posted a quote by Maya Angelou: “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.”
Ceballos wrote she felt compelled to share the story to help others. “Let’s not be angry, let’s not be reduced, but let’s continue making a difference, let’s lead with compassion and (a) heart for service.”
In a November interview with Long Live Lodging, Ceballos explained she uses adversity to become stronger and to conquer her own fears. She left Venezuela in 1982, when she was 17 years old, to attend hospitality management school in the U.S. She knew no one in the states and she did not speak English.
In 1989, the U.S. hospitality industry had only 100 female general managers. Ceballos was one of them.
At some point, she was stricken with Bell’s palsy, which partially paralyzed her. It shows slightly in her face. But what is more obvious is Ceballos’s strength, courage and determination to take every bad thing and make it good for herself or for someone else.
She cannot help it, she said. “Genuine leadership is all I know.”
WATCH: ‘Nobody Will Ever Know’
Two viruses emerged in the U.S. this year – COVID-19 and society’s backlash against racism. The coronavirus pandemic forced hotels to close or drastically cut back on their workforces as occupancy plummeted to unprecedented lows. And America’s streets resounded with the voices of citizens protesting racism as businesses began to respond by promising new and better commitments toward diversity, inclusion and equality in hiring and promotion. In Episode 288 of Lodging Leaders podcast, we explore the issues hotels are facing in bringing back laid-off workers and recruiting new employees in the midst of a health pandemic that seems to have no end and society’s desperate call for Corporate America to get serious about ending systemic racism.
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