Amanda Kenning is senior manager, hospitality sales at WhyHotel, an alternative hospitality service provider that creates pop-up hotels. The company uses yet-to-be leased units in new apartment buildings as fully furnished hotel suites. Previously, Amanda worked in sales management for Hilton Hotels and in a sales role at Visit Newport Beach. In addition, she’s a Women Leading Travel & Hospitality member! In this member spotlight, we asked Amanda a series of questions so you can get to know her better.

  1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
    Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  2. What’s a tip you have for productively leading a remote or hybrid team?
    Making time for fun, such as a Zoom happy hour, playing a virtual game, having lunch together, and enjoying being together in a fun environment.
  3. What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
    I wish I advocated for myself more when I knew I was ready to take on additional tasks or grow my career but didn’t feel like I had the voice to do so.
  4. What’s the toughest part of being in charge?
    Learning to juggle between glass balls and plastic balls. Dropping one can make a shattering difference, while one will bounce back.
  5. What’s the best way you motivate team members?
    Figuring out what motivates them. Words of affirmation, quality time, etc., and giving them their space to be creative and grow in their career while being a cheerleader and advocate for them.
  6. What woman inspires you right now and why?
    Every mother, caregiver, sister, and girlfriend who are trying to hold it together. Women overall inspire me.
  7. What are you looking forward to the most for the industry for the rest of 2021?
    It brings me joy to see hotels reopening, tourism coming back, and collaborative efforts between hotels, restaurants, and convention and visitors bureaus to create the best experience for those who haven’t traveled in over a year.
  8. What’s one thing you look for when interviewing a potential job candidate?
    It depends on the role. Are we looking for someone who will be in the front of the house or someone who is more analytical? I do enjoy asking about their hobbies, or something new that they learned during quarantine.
  9. What’s something that you learned about yourself in the past year?
    To trust the process. I’m one to think three to 10 steps ahead, and I’ve learned that I need to pause and be in the moment. Time is moving by so quickly.
  10. What’s your favorite podcast?
    Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, and Busy Philipps is Doing her Best.
  11. What values are most important to you as a leader?
    Honestly, adaptability, follow-through, and being true to your word.
  12. What’s the most important thing people should know about you?
    In my past life, I must have been a detective!
  13. What’s one habit you adopted while working from home that you’d like to keep with you as you return to the office?
    Mid-day walks.
  14. How would you describe yourself in a single sentence?
    I stay true to my values, and will stay consistent to the end.
  15. What’s your favorite app?
  16. What do you do to recharge?
    Listening to podcasts on a walk or while picking up around the house. If I completely need to disconnect I will find a body of water to walk near or sit and watch.
  17. What’s your biggest accomplishment?
    Learning from all my life pivots. Instead of wondering how I got somewhere, understanding my life’s journey and the decisions that I made to get there.
  18. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
    Keep shattering the glass.
  19. What gets you up in the morning?
    My cat, Emmy, gets me up before my alarm and then I get up to make coffee and listen to The Daily.
  20. How would you describe your leadership style?

If you would like to become a Women Leading Travel & Hospitality member or need additional information, click here.