Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. MacDonald

Marina MacDonald

Chief Marketing Officer, Red Roof

Chief Marketing Officer of Red Roof, Marina MacDonald began as an assistant to the general manager at the Franklin Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia and is now CMO of a national brand with 600+ hotels across the country. It's a role that didn't previously exist and was created specifically for her.

As CMO, Ms. MacDonald is forging a path - and acting as a role model - for women who aspire to leadership positions in the hospitality industry. As a leader at Red Roof, she proposed that the company create and launch the Red Roof Forum on Leadership for Women Entrepreneurs showcasing women in the male-dominated hospitality industry: their accomplishments, achievements, and insights. The Forum recognizes the growing influence of women owners, general managers and executives who are vital to any brand's success and to the overall growth of the hospitality industry with panels, talks, and awards and has resonated with female hospitality executives internally at Red Roof and across the industry.

Some of Ms. MacDonald's additional accomplishments include:

· In 2018, she oversaw the launch of two major Red Roof sub-brands, The Red Collection and HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof in multiple cities.

· In 2018, the American Hotel & Lodging Association awarded her the industry's Paving the Way award for her efforts to encourage women to grow their careers and pursue leadership roles.

· She was named one of the Top 30 Most Influential Women in Hospitality by Hotel Management and featured on the cover of Lodging magazine.

· Ms. MacDonald is the Vice Chair of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

· Under her watch, Red Roof was recognized and awarded the 2018 Best Budget Hotel Brand by USA Today Reader's Choice.

· As Chief Marketing Officer, she's overseen radical innovations that have contributed to huge growth for Red Roof. Most recently, Red Roof® became the first hotel chain to connect directly with consumers - beyond their hotel room - through Amazon's Alexa Skills platform.

· Ms. MacDonald also greenlit the Along the Route platform, a tech innovation which allows travelers to pinpoint Red Roofs wherever they are geographically in the country and be able to book a stay.

Cycling is Ms. MacDonald's passion. After investing many hours, she is a trained performance cyclist and feels a strong pull to help others enjoy the sport. She enjoys coaching other women to cycle like pros.

Please visit http://www.redroof.com for more information.

Ms. MacDonald can be contacted at +1 614-744-2617 or mmacdonald@redroof.com

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.