Rising Star Spotlight – Carolina Mendez

Mendez CarolinaCarolina Mendez, FLIK Hospitality at the World Bank Group

You are pretty new to SHFM, what does it mean to you to have been selected for the Rising Star Program?

It’s an absolute honor to have been selected! I knew I wanted to get involved in every way that I could with SHFM and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to begin my journey with this organization. I felt immediately welcomed and inspired by this group. This program has given me the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with other leaders in this industry and I am endlessly grateful.

Attending our October conference, how did it feel to be able to see other members and Rising Stars in person?

It was exhilarating! The energy in the room was remarkable. That’s not something you can capture virtually. I kept hearing people describe this organization as a “family” and I instantly felt that. It was really great to be able to connect face-to-face with so many people. This this industry is big, but our world is so small!

You have recently completed a Hospitality Management with Cornell, how did that prepare you for your current position?

It has made all the difference. It was really a transcendent experience. I reference material and coursework from this program almost daily. Not only did it help me understand what kind of leader I am and want to be, but it helped me develop the skills to strategically assess and innovate within my operation and how to really effect positive change.

Connecting with other SHFM members is a major benefit of membership, how has your work on SHFM committees allowed you to connect with other SHFM members?

The SHFM committees are a great way to intimately work with a group of individuals whose paths I may not have otherwise crossed. They give me a space to hear from and learn from people in this industry with different perspectives and experiences. I’ve made great connections through these committees, and I will continue to join them and remain involved.

Our traditional final question: What and where was the best meal you have ever had?  

This is a tough one…  I’ve had many “best meal of my life” experiences. I would say most recently it was Maydan in DC. Not only was the food absolutely incredible but the atmosphere and overall experience was as well.

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