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The 10 women behind Otolo

08/03/2022 Kieron Bailey Comments Off

Everything in hospitality is about people, and at Otolo our people are passionate about what they do. To celebrate the women who are working hard in helping redefine the future of hospitality, we wanted to introduce you to Robyn, Marina, Luce, Audrey, Leah, Alex, Emma and Aisha who have shown their love for hospitality in every decision they’ve made – happy International Women’s Day!

Marina Kipfer, our Project Manager, is responsible for planning, organising and managing projects. She is passionate about start-up life and before joining the wonderful team at Otolo, she successfully co-founded and managed the language school TO:K. The best tip she received in her career is to find the courage to co-found her own business. It has helped Marina learn a tremendous amount across so many different areas in a very short time. Outside of Otolo, she composes and produces music and very much enjoys discovering London’s hidden food gems!

Luce Watson is our Head of Marketing. Strategically driven she works on brand campaigns and positioning, campaign creation and growth strategy. The best tip she’s received in her career is never to say no to great opportunities as you never know where they will lead. She’s often tried new things in her career, to remove the fear and some of the best things she’s achieved and enjoyed were the things she would have never considered doing. Her biggest challenge in the workplace is changing the perception of hospitality, hospitality has been through a really tough time during covid. Luce doesn’t believe we single-handedly as individuals or companies can solve it, as it requires a joint effort to give more of a s*** about humans in the workplace, particularly those on the front-line of hospitality. An inspiring mentor in her career has been Rachel Hubbard. Rachel worked closely with Luce during her training and development to step into NED, and both her insight and knowledge were invaluable. Her hobbies outside of eating and drinking in all the hospitality venues are travelling, spending time with her dog and playing the guitar.

Leah Wheatley works as our Social Media Consultant and will be celebrating a year of working with the company this month! Creatively driven, Leah plans, creates and schedules social posts across multiple channels, increasing brand awareness and shouting about all things Otolo and Hospitality! The best tip was from one of her Theatre Studies teachers at school during a discussion of what she wanted to do when she completed her studies and it was the first time she heard, ‘When you love your career it doesn’t feel like a job’ and Leah is lucky enough to love every day she works with her amazing clients. Her biggest challenge in the workplace is learning to say no and not feel guilty about it! A woman that she is extremely inspired by is Grace Beverley, give ‘Working Hard, Hardly Working’ a read! Outside of Otolo, she is a social junkie and a massive sneaker lover!

Robyn Filep is our Relationships Manager and is passionate about all things ‘Development’. The best advice she ever got was from a woman with whom she had a five-minute conversation. One day, she told her ‘If you can’t get past the fear…do it scared’ and she thought that this was the coolest, most brave thing she’d ever heard. The biggest challenge in her professional life, so far, was having a ‘Fixed Mindset’ around her skills and her abilities. She now reframes her outlook with a ‘Growth Mindset’ and it has really moved the needle for her professional development.
A woman that she is inspired by is Carrie Green, ‘She Means Business’ author, a great book that she’d definitely recommend! Robyn’s hobbies: eating, walking, music and buying more fluffy blankets than anyone would ever need 🙈 

Alexandra Cella believes her lucky life has been full to the brim with wonderfully talented women, and Otolo has certainly continued that lucky streak! The role of Community Manager is first and foremost about connections, both within our network of courageous and trailblazing users and, in turn, with Alex’s hugely inspiring colleagues. Alex feels like it is an honour to be privy to conversations within the marketing team, project management team, and the team as a whole. Women are on their way up and the team at Otolo is right there out in front.

Aisha Sanwal is our Projects Intern, supporting the company through research analysis, creative marketing, outreach, and sales. As a final year undergraduate student at Fordham University, Aisha plans to apply her majors in Political Science and Global Finance towards a career in corporate law. The best tip she received for career development was to always have a willingness to learn. This trait is what has allowed her to meet inspiring individuals and discover new opportunities. However, she believes that the biggest challenge facing her ambition and curiosity is balancing strong mental and physical health. While it is important to prioritise work, she advocates setting ample time aside for yourself and exercising regularly. Of the decade’s most talented women, Cathie Wood is Aisha’s source of wisdom and empowerment. Wood is an American investor who started her own financial management firm at the age of 57. Lauded for her unique acumen in business, she also demonstrates to all women that age and gender are not constraints and that dreams are always worth pursuing.

Emma Couldridge is the Events Executive, ensuring we have a wide range of engaging and informative events for everyone on the Otolo platform. The best tip Emma has received to help her career was ‘it’s not always what you know but who you know’. You are forever learning from those around you, it is important to surround yourself with people who inspire you. Her biggest challenge in the workplace is isolating herself and not asking for help, but the strongest thing you can do is admit you can’t do everything and ask for help. Emma’s inspiration is Naomi Hollas, Founder of Event Grads and Otolo Mentor. She has created an inclusive and supportive community that she loves to watch grow!

Audrey Langevin is our Content Manager, taking care of the content strategy at Otolo, including planning and writing the blogs, insights, event recaps, email communications, and overall day to day projects to increase engagement. The best tips she received in her career is probably to never give up, keep on challenging yourself and learn from your achievements and mistakes. She’s been progressing her career with this in mind, which leads to one of her biggest struggles at work to not take things personally if there’s feedback as it’s always valuable to know where lie your areas of improvement! It’s difficult to name only one person that positively impacted her career, as she believes there’s always something unique to learn from each person you’ll meet in life. In her free time, Audrey takes her cat out on walks, draws cartoons and run miles around North London! She also loves discovering hidden places with friends and expats like her!

They recently left the business but had an incredibly positive impact, meet Daniella and Ryna:

Daniella Johns is our Head of Learning and Development Programmes, building interactive training and courses, both for Otolo’s external participants and internal team. She has worked across various industries, building a career in Learning and Development, 9 years later. She very much loves what she does and feels passionate about the space she works in. One of the most powerful things she has learnt through her experience is to be authentic to ourselves, in our communication style and who we are in the workplace. Dani believes that as tempting as it can be at times, we shouldn’t feel as though we must mirror others to be heard or fit in.

Ryna Ghazi is our Head Coach, leading and developing a team of coaches, while actively coaching members of the Otolo Community. The best tip Ryna has received to help her career was, ‘You will only grow when you step out of your comfort zone’ – she is certainly living by this working for a start-up! Her biggest challenge in the workplace is letting the imposter syndrome creep in, and having to remind herself – I am good enough. A woman Ryna is truly inspired by is Katie Frost, a Mentor turned friend. She admires her strength, honesty, and work ethic. She leads a life of authenticity and happiness no matter what curveballs come her way!

And because we know many women leaders worldwide are achieving milestones in making hospitality a better place, we selected some of the incredible talent working in hotel management, travel, food and beverages, bars, and they inspire us so much, at Otolo!