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Industry Briefs
LACK OF BLACK GENERAL MANAGERS IN SOUTH FLORIDA HOTELS & THE INDUSTRY

The lack of Black General Managers in South Florida is systematic of what is wrong with our industry.  We can no longer turn a blind eye or pay lip service to the problem of lack of opportunities for qualified people of color, we must address it now.
Since the re-energizing of the Black Lives Matter campaigns in 2020 most, if not all, major Hospitality Brands, management companies and hotel owners committed in writing and/or verbally to increase the number of Blacks in leadership positions in their respective companies. 

It would be great to get an update on how this is progressing and what action/successes have taken place.  How many Black VP's and above on your corporate teams now vs. 2019?  How many Black General Managers are on your teams vs. 2019? How many Hotels Mangers/Assistant General Managers are on your teams now vs. 2019. 

The situation in South Florida has not improved for any brands/owners/management companies in full service hotels. It is embarrassing that in 2022 in sprite of every major hotel organization talking about diversity, making a commitment in public and with having a major university with a credible hospitality and tourism degree program in our back yard, that can brag about graduating the most African-Americans in the hospitality industry, these graduating students cannot find their way to the General Manager or above position.  It appears little is being done to change this issue. Three years ago we had six General Managers in South Florida and today less than half remain. 

Is Black lives matter a moment or movement?   Are you asking that question?   Blacks who work in the industry who have seen no material changes are certainly asking that question.  We wonder why young Black men and women don't want to enter our industry.  

We see what is happening in the NFL with the lack of opportunities for Black coaches despite the Roony rules. Many years ago we proposed the NABHOOD rule which is very simple; when there is an executive position available the industry should make a commitment to interview at least two minority candidate with at least one being African-American. We have circulated a 'best practice white paper' on how to develop and implement a success plan to assist Black leaders to you. 

Our goal should be not become another NFL but lets use what's happening there as a teaching moment and make real commitments to provide opportunities to people of color. This industry is a great one to be in lets make it the same for everyone.

I am seriously interested to know the answers to the questions above as the Blacks in the industry I speak with have not seen much improvement or change so far.

NABHOOD created a roadmap to diversity with Cornell University with hopes of helping to bring more diversity to our industry. On one hand African-American spend 107.4 billion dollars annually on travel according to a study by MMYG Global which we participated in with other minority travel organizations with little opportunity to be more than an economic engine for the hospitality industry. In spite of our economic clout, we cannot spend our way to the executive suite. H.T. Smith and many others during the Miami Tourism boycott who fought for diversity inclusion & respect have been short changed. Don Peebles' grandfather who worked as a doorman in a major Washington DC hotel never got promoted in spite of him having a college education. 

Lastly, on behalf of many people of color, we love this industry, we just wish this industry loved us  back and made opportunities for us in all areas of this great industry, Ownership,  Executive Level Employment & vendoring opportunities. We can do better.

Dr. Andy Ingraham 

President/CEO

National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD)

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