Damaris Messina always wanted to work in the hotel industry.
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, she cites her home country’s hospitable nature as a significant influence on her career path – calling hospitality part of her DNA. “I always loved the feeling you get, the space, the smells, the sound,” Damaris says. “I just knew from a very early age that I wanted to work in hospitality.”
After studying International Hotel and Tourism Management at Johnson & Wales, Damaris started as a group sales coordinator at the Hilton Boston-Dedham. Over the next six years, she worked her way up from executive assistant to sales manager to senior sales manager at the Renaissance Providence Downtown. By the end of her tenure, she was handling the NFL and entertainment markets.
In 2016, she shifted to Marriott International – where she oversaw sales for hotels in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets and served clients from across the globe in the luxury hotel space. Now, she heads the sales efforts at Aloft Providence Downtown, a Marriott hotel that she helped open.
By challenging herself with new and exciting opportunities, Damaris continues to rise in the hospitality industry. “I’ve always looked at those kinds of opportunities to not only brand myself but expose myself to other markets and career opportunities,” she says. “Broadening my horizons brought me new opportunities that led me to the next job.”
“Working in the hospitality industry is rewarding, challenging, and fun. You’re exposed to so many different roles and travel opportunities. What you put in is what you get. If you believe in yourself you can pretty much do anything.”
A job in the hospitality industry was always the dream for Damaris and an open mind and positive attitude led her to success. And now, she’s enjoying the benefits of her dream job. “In this industry, I’ve been able to travel to 49 states out of 50… I’ve been to Ireland, London, Paris, Australia, and New Zealand,” she says. “That is one of the many benefits of this industry and I take full advantage of it.”
“You can be anything you want in this industry. There are so many opportunities you don’t have to be pinpointed to one role. I took the sales route because I’m a people person. I have high energy and love to see things from start to finish with a big rewarding event at the end.”