Temple Times Online Edition
    October 10, 2006
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Ritz-Carlton V.P. to discuss life-work balance and secrets to success


The key to success in life is balance.

On Thursday, Oct. 19 vice president and area general manager for the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton Hotel Elizabeth Mullins will discuss the importance of balancing family life and a career, and divulge some of the secrets to her success, including the importance of emphasizing customer service.

Mullins’ talk is part of Temple University’s seventh annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference, hosted by Temple’s League for Entrepreneurial Women. The conference theme, “Philadelphia: The Place to Live, Work & Launch Your Business,” will also be carried out in Mullins’ speech about her career in hospitality.

“Throughout my career, I have had to work on balancing and juggling issues,” Mullins says. “Women in every industry face this, but in the hospitality business, we’re open 24/7. The balancing is more pronounced than in any other industry.”

Mullins, a native of southern Maine, graduated from University of New Hampshire in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration and business administration.

“I’ve known that I wanted to be in the hotel business since I was a child. I was always fascinated by the world of luxury hotels,” Mullins recalls. “I started working for the Ritz-Carlton six days after graduating from the University of New Hampshire.”

The mother of a 9-year-old daughter, Mullins knows firsthand the importance of balancing family life with work.

After relocating 10 times in the past 18 years, she came to Philadelphia from Cleveland in July 2005 and soon learned some of the major advantages of operating a hotel in Philadelphia.

“It’s a city that has a big-city feel, with a small-town charm,” Mullins says. 

According to Mullins, cities need to concentrate on three essential areas for success in the hospitality field—leisure, arts and culture, and shopping — and Philadelphia is doing well in every aspect.

“Philadelphia is such a vibrant and fascinating place to work, and for visitors to come visit,” Mullins says. “The hospitality industry has been successful because of these fabulous restaurants, the vibrant theater district, murals painted on the buildings … It’s not one thing that brings people to Philadelphia, it’s a variety of things.”

At this year’s conference, Tracy Davidson, anchor for NBC 10, returns for the fourth year as moderator. One panel will focus on “Selling Philadelphia  — Success Stories” and include Krista Bard, president of marketing services company Bard Associates Inc. and Center City Proprietors Association, and Judy Fay, executive producer of “The Book and The Cook,” an annual Philadelphia event, where restaurants pair their chefs with cookbook authors.

Another panel will concentrate on “Building Your Business, and Giving Back,” with panelists including Shoana Clarke-Sayeh, founder of Cachelle Ink; Anne Scardino, founder of Belle Maison Design, LLC and Belle Maison Ventures, LLC; and Tammy Reid, who serves on the advisory board of Laurel House, an emergency domestic abuse shelter.

In line with this second panel theme, all attendees are invited to bring a gently used piece of clothing or costume jewelry that might be suitable for resale at Marian’s Attic to benefit the programs at Laurel House.


The Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference will be held Oct. 19 at 8 a.m. in the Great Court at Mitten Hall. It is a collaboration between The Fox School of Business, the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and the School of Communications and Theater; the leading corporate sponsor is Wachovia.


For more information, or to register for this event, e-mail tuwomen@temple.edu, or call 215-204-7260.


By Rebecca C. Carroll

For the Fox School of Business and Management




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