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Series of Events Give Disadvantaged Women Professional Skills and Networking Opportunities to Succeed in Lodging Industry

Washington D.C., April 14, 2009 — Guiding disadvantaged women to enter into and develop successful careers in hospitality, the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Women in Lodging (WIL) Executive Council and non-profit organization Dress for Success will host seven Hospitality Career Days for Dress for Success clients during the next few months.  As the first national collaborative initiative of this new partnership, announced in November 2008, Hospitality Career Days will be held at the following dates and locations:

  • May 8: Marriott Marquis Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 18: Gannett/USA Today Headquarters, McLean, Virginia
  • May 26: Hyatt Regency Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • June 12: The Inverness Hotel (tentative), Denver, Colorado
  • June 25: Hilton Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Additional events in Memphis, Tennessee, and New York City will be scheduled soon.
At each Hospitality Career Day event, local WIL Connect members will host a panel outlining the diverse career paths in the lodging industry, conduct sessions on building interviewing skills and professional image, and pair up with a Dress for Success client for mock interviews.  The events are coordinated by members of AH&LA’s WIL Executive Council and the area’s local Dress for Success affiliate.
“These career-building events directly support the Women In Lodging Council’s fundamental mission of actively engaging females in the professional hospitality community,” said Vicki Gordon, chair of AH&LA’s WIL Executive Council and managing partner of Collins Gordon Group, LLC.  “This initiative will lay the groundwork to maximize Dress for Success’ clients’ exposure to employment prospects in hospitality and also afford them opportunities to build invaluable one-on-one relationships with accomplished women in our industry – in cities where this direction and personal attention can be most effective.”
Dress for Success is an international non-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.  To date, Dress for Success has assisted more than 500,000 women referred by approximately 2,750 diverse non-profit and government agencies including homeless shelters, immigration services, job training programs, educational institutions, and domestic violence shelters, among others. 
Under the jurisdiction of the WIL Executive Council, AH&LA’s WIL Connect membership initiative is the first industry-wide forum exclusively for female hospitality professionals.  WIL fuels the mission to promote women's leadership into executive positions within the lodging industry and contribute to business development efforts, including women's markets.  Membership is free to all women employed at AH&LA property and allied member organizations, regardless of their position within the company.
For more information on these events and AH&LA’s WIL initiatives, please visit the AH&LA WIL Connect Website.  For more information, contact Jessica Soklow, AH&LA manager of media relations, at (202) 289-3153 or

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