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.”