• 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.” 

Originally from Ontario, Heather Odendaal got her start in event planning early, serving as her high school’s head of social events. She ended up on the West Coast, courtesy of her studies at the University of British Columbia, and launched her career in Whistler, working for the resort in marketing and events. Today, she’s CEO of Bluebird Strategy, a boutique event planning firm, and CEO and founder of WNORTH, a global community of women who have their sights set on the C-suite.

 

Danielle Boyles’ first job in hospitality was at the front desk of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in her hometown of Toronto, Ontario. “I lived and worked in Asia for four years and learned to speak Japanese while I was there. The Royal York hired me on the spot to work at the front desk and with the Japanese tour groups. I never looked back,” she says.

 

Shelly Tolo’s clients are a loyal bunch, with good reason.