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Who We Are

Hannah Demaio
Vice President, Brand Strategy
Women Leading Travel & Hospitality
Jen DiPasquale
Women in Retail Leadership Circle, Total Retail and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality
Sally Holtgrieve
Senior Editor
Women Leading Travel & Hospitality

Our History

Women Leading Travel & Hospitality is the sister community of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle (WIRLC). WIRLC came about after co-founders Jennifer DiPasquale and Melissa Campanelli spent time conversing with women leaders in the retail industry. They regularly heard stories that while there were a lot of women working in the retail space, that wasn’t reflected in the number of women in C-suite positions. Therefore, in 2014, they launched an exclusive community of women executives at leading retailers and brands. WIRLC’s mission is to foster leadership development for executive women in retail by providing an unparalleled mix of events, content and elite connections. Jennifer and Melissa are the ultimate champions for fellow women executives, and abide by the belief that women investing in other women is good business.

Why Women Leading Travel & Hospitality

Due to the continued year-over-year growth of WIRLC, and looking to establish more communities that promote, support and celebrate the professional and personal growth of women, Jennifer DiPasquale and Hannah DeMaio teamed up to launch Women Leading Travel & Hospitality. Through quantitative and qualitative research, they identified that the travel and hospitality industry not only had numerous synergies with the retail industry, it also had room for growth when it came to inclusion and diversity. Jennifer and Hannah repeatedly heard women were vastly underrepresented in executive positions in travel and hospitality, and they wanted to help. Like WIRLC, Jennifer and Hannah are building a community comprised of successful, motivated and passionate women spanning the entire travel and hospitality ecosystem.

Why We Launched When We Did

The travel and hospitality industry saw a devastating downturn in 2020. There’s absolutely no question the coronavirus pandemic has had both short- and long-term effects on the industry. We may not know the challenges that lie ahead, but what we do know is that a trusted community of like-minded women is needed now more than ever. We’re certain there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and we want to help the entire way through and beyond. Women Leading Travel & Hospitality is here to guide you through it both personally and professionally with a community and network that’s stronger than ever.

Where We Are Going

Our priority is to unite, inspire and empower our community of executive women leaders in the travel and hospitality industry by providing unparalleled resources, support and motivation to achieve personal and professional growth. Our mission is always top of mind. Our team will provide this community resources focused on both executive professional development and business strategy, launch both virtual and in-person events, and expand our core membership base. In the coming years, Women Leading Travel & Hospitality’s plan is to grow, with the guidance of our expert advisory board. Our community’s immediate needs will always be at the forefront, and we’re excited for our evolution as we embark on this journey. We promise, we’re just getting started. Join us for this incredible journey!