• Meet Emily Cantrell, World Trade Center Seattle

     
    FROM THE Summer 2018 ISSUE
     

    Emily Cantrell has found her tribe in hospitality.

Emily Cantrell, director of World Trade Center Seattle (managed by Columbia Hospitality), didn’t always know that a career in hospitality was in her future. In college, she interned with KOMO-TV, subsequently working at KOMO and at station NWCN over the next eight years, and even won a NATAS Northwest Regional Emmy. But she didn’t want to work in TV news forever, so she helped launch a wine club to gain sales experi - ence. Since then, she’s worked for Visit Seattle, Columbia Hospitality, Seafair and now Columbia Hospitality once again. 

Cantrell says the hospitality industry encompasses everything she enjoys doing—including her love of meeting new people. “It’s sales, it’s marketing and communications, it’s planning events, and it’s working with the business com - munity. Here, we’re all about bringing leaders together, and it’s an amazing place to be.”

Not only is the position a perfect fit, but her company is too. When she needed support at one of the worst times in her life, her colleagues were there for her.

Cantrell is a survivor of the 2017 October Las Vegas shooting—the deadli - est U.S. shooting in modern history. She was at the concert with her fiancé (now husband), and she spoke of the horror of not knowing whether or not she was going to survive. The morning following the shooting, she had messages from her boss and the executive vice president and the CEO of Columbia Hospitality. When she returned home, the company even had fresh groceries delivered to her door.

“My work was so incredible in trying to help me heal,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine going through that and working somewhere else. I’m incredibly grateful for the support I have received.” 

In the early 1990s, Washington communities and activists had a vision of maintaining green wilderness and creating space where people could embrace the outdoors near urban cities like Seattle. “We’re all better and healthier when we’re connected to nature,” says Caroline Villanova, community and partnerships manager at Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

 

Jamie McKinney wants visitors to experience Portland at its quirkiest.

 

League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey.

Originally from Kentwood, Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry.