Ani Nazaryan is the senior director of people (HR) at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, where she has worked for nearly 12 years in a variety of roles, including the director of learning and development prior to her current position. In addition, Ani is a Women Leading Travel & Hospitality member! In this member spotlight, we asked her a series of questions so you can get to know her better.

  1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
    Brené Brown, “Dare to Lead.” It’s a great read on brave leaders and courageous cultures.
  2. What’s a tip you have for productively leading a WFH or hybrid team?
    Look for innovative ways to stay connected with the team besides Zoom or email. Showing care through a phone call or a thoughtful gesture can go a long way.
  3. What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
    Earlier in my career I thought I was supposed to be an expert at everything and have all the answers. Being able to say, “I don’t know, teach me” is a powerful phrase and is not a sign of weakness. It takes courage and vulnerability to admit what you don’t know. A favorite quote from Steve Jobs precisely sums up the more mature phase of my career: “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
  4. What’s the toughest part of being in charge?
    Not the toughest part, however, the most responsible part of being in charge is leading by example. I’m very conscious of holding myself to the same standard I hold others to. It’s powerful when employees see their leaders as part of the team committed to working hard, delivering on commitments, and holding themselves and others accountable for results.
  5. What’s the best way you motivate team members?
    Showing up, being present and making people feel seen. Teams will go the extra mile if they feel connected. I’m purposeful on creating an environment where everyone feels engaged, celebrated and knows how their daily work contributes to the bigger picture.
  6. What woman inspires you right now and why?
    Women who break barriers, defy odds and never settle despite adversities. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by incredible women who also balance family, successful careers, and still find time to pay it forward.
  7. What are you looking forward to the most for the industry for the rest of 2021?
    Hospitality is a people-first business. People are the heart of our industry and seeing travel return to Las Vegas is truly exciting.
  8. What’s one thing you look for when interviewing a potential candidate?
    It’s a few things — being passionate, genuine and having a teachable spirit.
  9. What’s something that you learned about yourself in the past year?
    Now more than ever, interactions and face-to-face connections are really important to me.
  10. What’s your favorite podcast?
    Brené Brown’s podcast on Spotify.
  11. What values are most important to you as a leader?
    A leader with a vision who is authentic, humble and has an ability to empathize.
  12. What’s the most important thing people should know about you?
    I’m a proud Armenian by heritage, a wife and a mom of two wonderful boys. Oh, and I’m probably the only person on earth who doesn’t like ice cream or sweets.
  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?
    WFH made me realize the importance of taking mental breaks throughout the work day. Whether it’s a quick coffee break, a short hallway walk or a simple stretch.
  14. How would you describe yourself in a single sentence?
    Decisive, driven and a life-long learner
  15. What’s your favorite app?
    YouTube and Netflix
  16. What do you do to recharge?
    Evening walks are a way for me to disconnect and recharge.
  17. What’s your biggest accomplishment?
    I moved to the United States at a young age in pursuit of a better life and opportunities. While my journey hasn’t been without challenges, I’m most proud of my family and career accomplishment over the last decade.
  18. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
    Be yourself, take risks and ask questions. The best way to learn and grow is to get out of your comfort zone while being honest about your strengths and limitations. Also, find a mentor who will give you a different perspective and honest feedback. I’ve been lucky to have a few incredible mentors who have shaped my career.
  19. What gets you up in the morning?
    Coffee and the opportunity to be good to someone.
  20. How would you describe your leadership style?
    Authentic leadership. I’m passionate about people and lead with a sense of purpose. I invest time on building connections, which in my opinion is the foundation of meaningful work. I believe all people are naturally gifted and want to succeed. It’s a leader’s responsibility to bring out the best in people.

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