March 8th is International Women’s Day and according to the campaign’s official website “Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.” We appreciate the women who make Liuna Station so successful every day of the year, but we thought that we would take the opportunity today to hear first hand from one of the women who continues to make Liuna Station shine. We caught up with Susanna Alvarez, Corporate Sales at Liuna Station to find out what International Women’s Day means to her, what advise she has for young women interested in her line of work and what she considers her greatest success.
LS: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
SA: My work has truly shaped and defined a large part of my life. Hospitality inevitably intertwines with your whole life – it is not a stand alone career. I am motivated daily as are many women who are in the constant pursuit of balance. I aspire to be my best for my family, my daily passions are revolved around food, travel, yoga and new adventures.
LS: Today is International Women’s Day. What does that mean to you?
SA: International Women’s Day – the title alone makes me take a deep breath. It is critical that as a woman, as a population and on a global scale we take a day, a moment to step back and think of all that women contribute on a daily basis since the beginning of time.
I am blessed to have a beautiful, precious daughter, who has added to my sense of commitment and level of contribution not only to her life but for what I leave behind and the path it may create for many girls. We all hope for the moon for our children and although many things have advanced for women in our society we still have so far to go.
International Women’s Day provides opportunity and time set aside for all of us as women to shine a light on our paths and where we want to go next.
The possibilities are endless – We are Women!
LS: What advise do you have for young women interested in your line of work?
SA: If this industry intrigues you, there will always be work available. However, make sure you do some bottom of the totem pole jobs before you decide on Hospitality as a career path (serving, bartending, kitchen or dishwashing). Rolling up your sleeves and having experience with hands on, front line hard work will keep you connected to the core of the industry and that is taking care of people and their needs. As you move up and forward the lessons you learn at the front line will not only prove invaluable and give you credibility but it will also teach you quickly if you are cut out for this industry or not. Long hours and working when everyone else is celebrating exists at every level but the rewards are endless and gratifying when you have executed a successful event.
LS: What is your greatest success?
SA: Catering the Hamilton International Air show. At 25 years old I was a catering manager for a downtown Hotel and we had the won the bid to cater the annual air show.
I managed a staff of over 150 employees, we catered the three day event, serving 4000 people daily at various locations on the Airport site. I had to create a model of execution from A-Z, coordinating staff, volunteers, transportation, rentals and service as well as preparing for all weather conditions.
It was a huge success and I often reflect upon that time. It gives me the confidence to feel that I can survive almost anything that comes my way.
LS: Who is your greatest female role model and why?
SA: Oprah. Despite her history she has become one of the most successful women of our time. Despite her success she has remained human by continuing to share her vulnerabilities and by doing so, there is some part of her that is relatable to every woman, because of this I feel she has been a critical role model in our society.
LS: What is your favourite quote by a famous woman?
SA: During an interview with Mother Theresa she was asked “What do you feel is our greatest problem in society today?” her response “Me!”
This empowers me daily to remember that change can begin with me.
LS: We’d like to thank Susanna for her inspiring words and for the contributions she makes to the success of Liuna Station every single day! Happy Women’s Day to all of you!
Stay tuned for weekly blog updates and make sure to connect with Liuna Station on Instagram and Facebook as we deliver fresh, new content to inspire, excite and assist as you plan your dream event. Be sure to check out our latest Liuna Gardens blog where we caught up with Liuna Gardens’ Executive Chef, Amanda Steen.