Olivia Hoblit, Regional Manager of Innisfree Hotels and FRLA Board of Directors Chair
Mentoring the Next Generation of Hospitality Leaders
FRLA Board of Director Chair Olivia Hoblit always knew she wanted to be a leader. Coming to the U.S. with her family from the Philippines at the age of 15, she was in a new place but had the drive to overcome any challenges to succeed. She began her career in hospitality in food service at the age of 17, and it was at that restaurant where her life changed. She met a regular customer – actually in the legal profession – who began to mentor her and brought her under her wing in the legal field.
As Olivia worked her way up to paralegal and set her sights on law school, something happened that changed her path entirely. She started working part-time at a luxury beachfront boutique hotel – Elizabeth Pointe Lodge – and fell in love with hospitality and began to focus full time her passion for this industry. The hotel owners invested in her and guided her on this new path, and she attributes these important mentors for her love of teaching others.
Her hotel experience beyond the Lodge includes GM of the Seaside Amelia Inn – owned by Innisfree hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, and now Regional Manager of Innisfree Hotels. She has been honored with awards for her performance and achievements and was selected as one of the Top Women in Lodging by FRLA.
Like women across business, Olivia feels that she sometimes has to work harder in this industry as a woman, but she credits the people who have mentored her and shown her the way as providers of hope and positivity to know that her dedication and hard work pays off.
She says that women positively impact Florida’s hospitality industry because they do their job from the heart and take care of the people around them. Being empathetic and caring are important qualities for great female leaders. “Caring for people, helping them to be successful, and investing in others is so important to me,” she says. Helping find talent and helping them propel to the next part of their career is something she is laser focused on as FRLA Board Chair.
When asked what piece of advice she has for women coming up in hospitality, she said, “Find someone to mentor you – someone you could learn from. It will be the best thing you ever did. And then do the same for others. Giving people the opportunity to grow and a perspective of hope is important alongside hard work and drive. Always work to make things better.”
Closing Question: What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
“Women’s History Month is an opportunity to recognize women’s strength and accomplishments – our many contributions to history, society, and culture. We owe so much to those who came before us; we owe it to them to pay it forward.”