Industry “InSITE” for the New Year

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Photo by Radission US on Unsplash.

During a recent 20 Minutes of Women IN Leadership podcast, Prevue Magazine Editor Barbara Scofidio spoke to three incentive industry leaders about the “Role of Relationships in Personal Growth and Success” and how it has shaped and nurtured their careers.

The panel—Rachel Carey, CITP, VP National Sales and Industry Relations at CSI DMC; Rhonda Brewer, CIS CITP, VP Sales for Motivation Excellence; and Michelle Mariani, CIS CITP, Divisional Director for Sales-Groups North America for Belmond—offered insights on the vital importance of relationships among professional contacts, encouraging seasoned pros and those starting out to develop them.

“As everyone says, it’s all about the relationships, and it definitely is,” noted Rhonda Brewer. “You’re going to do business with those you trust. While some of that is driven by the client’s needs and understanding budgets, when you’re looking to find hotels and DMCs, you’re going to look for places where you’ve had incredible experiences, know the people and can trust that they’re going to deliver a fantastic experience for our customers. It’s obviously a reflection on us, to make sure that we’re selecting the right providers wherever we go,” she added.

“We know how crucial relationships are,” agreed Rachel Carey. “My job is to really work hard to build those relationships as the national point of contact for many of our clients.”

Strong Benefits of Building Relationships

In building strong relationships, the panel noted, you’re also ultimately building a cache of referrals, both for yourself and your friends in the industry.

“The trust in relationships across all of our different disciplines is also about client acquisition,” said Michelle Mariani. “We make sure we’re always sharing the customer… sometimes, if there’s a piece of business and we’re not right for it, I’d rather suggest a friend than someone I don’t know.”

Indeed, “build relationships” was also a piece of advice the panelists wanted younger people starting out in any facet of hospitality to know.

“Nurture those relationships at a young age and whatever industry you start in,” Mariani advised. “All of the skills are transferrable and you never know when an opportunity will come up and you can leverage a relationship that you started 10 years ago. It’s very relevant. Water the plants, if you will, over the years, because they never go away.”

20 Minutes Of Women IN Leadership is produced by GlobauxSource, in partnership with SITE Texas, SITE, and the SITE Women In Leadership initiative. Hear the full podcast at

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