marriott director of hr career story jody-ann
Courtesy of Jody-Ann

Name: Jody-Ann P.
Position: Director of Human Resources
Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos
Dream destination: I really want to explore Saint Lucia, with the mountains and the water views, but I’m also dreaming about chilling in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives. Can’t wait to check out both!
Drink or treat of choice: A cold, crisp Coca-Cola!

For Jody-Ann, her career in hospitality was driven by a passion to make a difference and focus on well-being.

“Growing up, mental health was rarely discussed, and I wanted to change that in the business world,” she reflects.

Jody-Ann’s commitment to supporting others and her ability to listen and build relationships are what make her stand out at Marriott. Starting as an HR Coordinator in 2021, she worked her way up to the position of Director of Human Resources at The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos in just a matter of years.

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Her passion lies in helping people, whether it’s through her role in Human Resources or as a mental health advocate. Jody-Ann’s journey at Marriott is marked by her dedication to going the extra mile for her associates, creating an environment where everyone feels valued and supported.

How would you describe your experience as a Marriott associate?

Rewarding. Since joining Marriott, I have witnessed my own personal growth. I have become more understanding, more knowledgeable and I have found my voice. I have skillfully learned how to command a room and keep an audience engaged. I have been able to travel for trainings and conferences, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I find pleasure in being a part of something that’s bigger than my beautiful little island. My experience has been nothing short of adventure, soaking up information and running with it. I have had the honor of meeting individuals from all over the globe, and learn about their experiences. I believe learning is innate and continuous, and Marriott allows me to do that with ease.

How would you describe Marriott’s culture?

Inspiring. Put people first — not just guests — people. People are the backbone of our operations and they should be handled with care. Marriott’s culture directly aligns with my values and that’s how I know I’m in the right place. Everyone is valued, no matter your position, band, race, age or gender. Everyone has a voice and someone is always willing to listen.

marriott director of hr career story jody-ann

Courtesy of Jody-Ann

As an HR professional, what inspires you?

Helping people is my main inspiration. I meet associates who need someone to talk to and feel heard every day. Building relationships and sharing in their lives makes my job rewarding. I aim to bring well-being and care to life at work, even if it’s just for one person.

Which of Marriott’s values resonate most with you?

Definitely ‘Putting People First’. Recognizing and valuing our team is crucial – happy associates lead to happy guests. With my background in psychology and passion for mental health, I appreciate Marriott’s commitment to employee well-being and inclusivity. They value different perspectives and make an effort to create an inclusive environment for everyone. This aligns with my own beliefs and values, and I am proud to be part of a company that prioritizes people and their well-being.

marriott director of hr career story jody-ann

Courtesy of Jody-Ann

Describe a moment you felt like a part of a community at Marriott.

We held a Community Footprints event at a local high school, where we conducted mock interviews and delivered presentations on social skills. The enthusiasm from the students was so great that we scheduled additional sessions. Witnessing the impact of our conversations on their choices and future paths was truly remarkable. This experience highlighted the significant impact we can have, and being part of it was truly special.

Proudest moment of your career so far?

The story that stands out is of a woman who joined our Casino’s Guest Relations & Marketing with a degree in HR but had yet to gain experience. She was incredibly cautious, always triple-checking her work. When an HR Coordinator position opened, I, a supervisor at the time, saw her potential and encouraged her to apply. She got the job! Watching her evolve into an HR Manager and being part of that journey has been my proudest moment. Seeing my team members succeed and grow into leaders is what counts for me. Their victories are mine, and helping to shape a great leader has been an incredibly fulfilling experience.

marriott director of hr career story jody-ann

Courtesy of Jody-Ann

Describe a moment you felt supported at Marriott.

My resort’s General Manager, Tony Mira, has made the biggest impact on my career. He has taught me, constantly pushes me and I can run any idea by him, no matter how crazy and I know he won’t think it’s stupid or wonder what I am going on about. He offers me great feedback and always encourages me to do better.

I found out I was expecting in March 2023, prior to my promotion to Director of HR, Operations. I received my offer letter about one week after I found out. Of course I knew I would not be judged or penalized for this, but as a woman, the internal thought was there and knowing I would be out of operations for a while was giving me anxiety and I felt guilty. I did not want to accept the job because I knew I would be leaving for at least three months on maternity leave. I went to Tony in confidence and told him, and the support he gave me meant the world to me. He informed me that pregnant or not, I was still who he wanted to succeed into the DHR role — and I knew he meant it because my whole pregnancy he would come and check on me every morning and would often send bacon to my office to make sure I was getting enough protein! My daughter was born prematurely in October 2023, and I was fully able to focus on her. My leader made the difference and truly supported me and encouraged me to take care of myself.

marriott director of hr career story jody-ann

Courtesy of Jody-Ann

What is your favorite part of the job?

I am passionate about TakeCare. My favorite part of my day is helping others, seeing their smiles and putting on activities to make them happy. I love seeing other people happy, and TakeCare allows me to do that with ease. I also love graphics, so TakeCare also allows me to have creative freedom and make really nice posters and reels and be as colorful as I’d like. Planning different events, speaking to associates, learning about their likes and dislikes, hearing stories about their families and kids and just knowing people feel comfortable enough to come to my office to laugh, talk, cry or just have a minute to breathe makes me feel good. I’m glad I am able to create a safe space for them.

Favorite part of working at Marriott?

Definitely Marriott Bonvoy. I love talking about it at orientation because it’s made travel, like visits to Jamaica, LA, New York, Florida, Dubai, Paris, and Prague, more accessible and enjoyable. Staying at Marriott properties with my family and taking advantage of the discounts has been a highlight. These benefits truly set Marriott apart for me.

marriott director of hr career story jody-ann

Courtesy of Jody-Ann

When you’re interviewing for a role on your team or at the hotel, what do you look for most?

When interviewing candidates, I focus on their communication, organization, and teamwork skills. I also value a sense of camaraderie among team members, which fosters a great work environment and collective success.

What advice would you give someone who wants to work at Marriott?

I’d say, apply now, get your foot in the door, and once you are here, dive right into learning. Marriott offers so many growth opportunities, you could end up doing things you never dreamed of!

How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

I’ve used the Explore Rate for all of my vacations. I love to travel. My partner also works in hospitality but for another luxury competitor. We often go back and forth bragging about our companies and why ours is better. My travel discount always helps me to win that battle and he’ll never admit it, but he loves the discount, too!

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