Making a Difference Through Community
I’ve always worked in hospitality but was insecure about my tattoos and piercings. I figured that there was no way I could move up. About nine or 10 years ago, I met the current GM at Ole Red Nashville, and she also has a lot of tattoos. She noticed my self-doubt and pulled me aside. She said, “What you have on your body does not determine how well you can do a job.” She reassured me that as long as I work hard, learn, and perform, I can pretty much achieve anything that I want. That stuck with me.
I started pushing harder towards the things that I wanted. I hadn’t even realized the opportunities that existed. I had just about every front-of-house position before I transitioned into a sales coordinator role. Then, I was promoted to Event Manager. My GM has been really instrumental in helping me develop my skills and transition from assisting a leader, to being a leader myself. I still go to her office anytime I have questions or concerns, or if I need help figuring out an issue with an event.
My mentors have helped me come out of my shell and now that I’m in a position to lead, I’m passing that on and helping others who want to grow and learn. They aspire to work in a role like mine, so I’ve taken them under my wing and show them how I do everything.
I want people to know that it’s OK to want to grow, to aspire to something else. It doesn’t matter how you look, your ethnicity, or your gender – it’s OK to apply for what you want. Put your best foot forward and the outcome will usually be a good one.
Leeanne – Operation & HR Manager, Circle
Topher – Sr. Events Manager, Grand Ole Opry
Chaley – Leadership & Development Manager, Corporate