Through the years, women have positively emerged in the community with a greater role and significant purpose. Some arise as women leaders, while others operate their own businesses. Cebu, in fact, is full of these empowered women who serve the society for the betterment of those in it, whether they serve in the hospitality industry, specialize in beauty or work in the medical field. Women should be celebrated every day, and as a way to honor them this Women’s Month, we recognize three out of the many girl bosses in the city who now live in their prime and fruitful years with a whole empire behind their backs.
Feature dates: Dr. Malinda Vasquez (March 27), Farrah Casilda Nazareth (March 28) and Herley Broutin (March 29).
Director of Sales and Marketing,
Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu
SunStar LIVE! (SL): What encouraged you to pursue your current career?
Herley Broutin (HB): I’ve always been in the hospitality industry. I started my career in front office with the Shangri-La Hotel group, then moved to the entire rooms division as rooms training manager. I eventually pursued my career as overall hotel training manager, then moved on as director of HR in the UAE. In 2015, when my husband and I relocated here in Cebu, I was given the opportunity to lead the SMX Convention Center Cebu as senior branch manager. Joining Quest Hotel Cebu as director of sales and marketing is really a continuation in pursuing my passion in the hospitality industry but from a different perspective. It’s now about how we can fill up the hotel and yet, still ensure that we are able to deliver the promise to our guests and clients.
SL: What makes your profession enjoyable and at the same time fulfilling?
HB: The people we meet from all walks of life make it more enjoyable and interesting as we constantly need to keep up with the ever-changing demands and needs of the market. There is never a dull moment in the hospitality industry. I am generally an inquisitive person. Continuous learning is important for me. It’s food for my soul. I like to know what, why, when and how. Imagine different types of guests, each of whom comes from different markets with different needs. Finding out, analyzing, knowing why and when they are traveling and thinking of how we can meet and provide their needs, and what we can do to bring them to our cool, clean and comfy hotel while considering competition is what brings out the adrenaline rush. When the guests or clients tell us of their wonderful experience and when they come back over and over again, that’s fulfilling.
SL: How were you able to make a name for yourself in the industry that you’re in?
HB: Hardwork, role model and integrity—these are words I love and live by.
SL: What’s your secret to success and how were able to reach it?
HB: I guess it really depends on how we view success. I measure my success by completion of my goals, be it personal or career. I also believe that success means to never stop learning and learning from mistakes. A constant learning for me is how to manage my time efficiently and effectively to have a work-life balance. I have to constantly learn and relearn how to “work smart,” not necessarily work long hours. Also part of it is overcoming fears and the “what if it won’t work” attitude. I always say to myself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” To which I also answer myself with, “Well if it doesn’t work, at least I tried and now I know. Let’s see how we can make it better next time for it to work.”
SL: If you could name one cultural heroine who influenced you in your chosen path, who would it be and why?
HB: Apart from my mom (although she is not a hotelier, she has always been a people person), my mentor for the last 15 years up until now is my former colleague and Middle East area director of training and development Sharon Dhaliwal. She made me understand that it’s really not about one’s title in life but the difference one has made in the life of others. She also once told me that if you’re good, you’re part of the option. But if you’re excellent, you’re the only choice.
SL: What word of advice would you give young girls who dream of being a girl boss like you one day?
HB: Be a B.I.T.C.H., but the real one—Babe in Total Control of Herself. It means to have full balance and control of yourself—your time, energy, needs and wants. Kidding aside, regardless of what role we play, I believe knowing your purpose as well as having empathy and grit are important. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. For as long as you need and want to, nothing is impossible because as they say, impossible means “I’m Possible.” Another mentor once told me, “Be good, but if you can’t be good, then be good at it.”