"That’s been the silver lining: growth. We’re making a comeback."
As we look back on 2021, we reflect on the things we are grateful for—since our inception a year ago, our Practice has always been about the people. We’re hotel people, but we’re also people-people. Silver linings can be hard to find after a year like this one, but luckily, we’ve surrounded ourselves with people who inspire us. These are their stories of growth amid chaos, their words of wisdom, and their hopes for the future.
“I’m writing this from 37,000 feet, which in and of itself, is something to be grateful for. Looking out the pitch black window brings to mind one of my favorite song lyrics, “love is like an astronaut. It comes back, but it's never the same.” From this view up here, none of us are the same now. The “unsameness” is at the core of why I’m grateful. My collaborators at Practice are the anti-same—the anecdote for stagnation. Same is as boring as a beige sofa. No thank you to beige, boring, and bland, and no thank you to the curveballs, hair balls, tsunamis, sour grapes, and generalized horror of the last couple of years. Let’s have some f**king fun.”- Andrew Alford, Designer
“I’m grateful for our teams at the hotels who continue to rise to the challenge, think creatively and find solutions to keep our guests happy and take care of each other. While it’s been tough to deploy capital, we’ve been privileged to some spend time this year with visionary investors and developers who are working on some amazing out-of-the-box projects. Good things are coming. I’m grateful to all our partners – current and yet to be announced – for trusting us to help bring their vision to life and to care for their hotels. This is only the beginning, more exciting things to come.”- Kate Buska, VP of Brand & Communications
“As our world continues to pivot on its axis in seemingly endless directions, our day-to-day can feel like a rollercoaster ride. The chance to catch our breath at the current pace is fleeting, and it’s given me so much pleasure to be able to connect with team members to give them the time and space to hit pause. I’ve been so impressed with the way our team members engage in training, opening themselves to learn, feel, and share, despite it all or perhaps because of it. I am grateful for this growth mindset, and I’m grateful for the culture of Practice Hospitality that makes it all possible.”- Sosanda Erdmann, Culture Trainer
“The immense gratitude that I felt when I came back to a room and it was serviced? There’s a silver lining in plain sight—made bed, picked up trash, jackets hung, knick knacks on the desk organized, and water bottles by the beds. Sigh. I’ll never again take for granted the little things that amazing housekeeping teams do. Bravo to the hotels that can recruit and keep a team together safely to deliver service. I’m very grateful for team members that hold down the fort as things continue to change around them.”- Zie Zie Senzaki, VP of Sales & Marketing
“I’m grateful for our team's ability to navigate ever-changing obstacles while keeping their focus on what truly matters—the people, from guests to co-workers. Our team has kept “people” as the north star throughout the challenges of the past year.”- Holly Landry, Corporate Director of Finance
“Despite the current state of the hospitality industry, I am grateful for my teammates who keep pushing through never previously experienced challenges. It is their drive and desire to overcome challenges that keep me motivated and optimistic about the future of our industry.”- Klaudio Simic, VP Operations
“Hugs. From people. In real life. Events, meetings, social hours. Somehow, when we were finally able to collectively exhale this spring, our connection to one another deepened. We’d been through it—and yet, we started making plans again, opening hotels again. That’s been the silver lining: growth. We’re making a comeback. We’re stronger than ever, we’re smarter, too—we’re more inclusive, we’re aware of our shortcomings. We’re working together to remove supposed binaries and limitations, to put people first and build a better industry.”- Bashar Wali, CEO
“On a recent trip to Houston, I was finally able to meet my newborn niece. It’s a reminder that life is precious. Ever changing. So big and so small at the same time. It’s also a reminder that meeting someone in person for the first time is magical. A shared smile. A shared space. A shared memory. Phone calls, text messages and Zoom calls work for the grown ups, to some extent. When you’re connecting with a baby, and they communicate through staring contests, eyebrow raises, a burp, a cry or a laugh, it’s a strong reminder of the value of human connection."- Leslie Lew, VP of Revenue & Distribution
“I learned that hospitality is something that is felt and shared far beyond the hotel walls. During a recent event at one of the hotels we manage, our team members wrote letters to elders. One team member received a response from a letter recipient: Bernice had always enjoyed writing letters with her sister, until her sister’s death in 2020. It really lifted her spirits to receive our team member’s letter and to write back. Bernice’s letter is now a fixture on our team member’s desk, and the story has been shared many times over. I am beyond grateful I get to celebrate and encourage the “human” in human resources.”- Lorna Rivera, Director of HR