By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Marlborough – Relying on her five “Fs,” Mary Simone has worked her way up the career ladder in the hotel industry over the last 36 years to her current position of general manager at the Courtyard by Marriott in Marlborough. On Oct. 7, she shared stories from her career with nearly 80 local business women at the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce’s women’s networking group, Business Forward Females (BFF).
“I have always relied on my 5 ‘Fs’ through my life and career,” she said. “Family, faith, friends, food and fun. These have all given me a solid foundation.”
Throughout her career she learned, she said, to work hard and accept new challenges in the different markets she worked in, including stints in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and Worcester.
In September 2001 she was working as the general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott in Westborough.
“Like everyone else, my life changed on Sept. 11,” she said. “And it changed the way [hotel] business was done. “
Working with law enforcement agents, she had to “learn things I never wanted to learn and teach them to my staff,” she added.
Several years later, Simone faced another significant challenge when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. In spite of that diagnosis, she continued to work throughout her treatments, to show her family and staff that she would not let the cancer get the best of her. She has now been “clean and cancer-free” for the last three years.
Simone is very proud, she noted, of a program her hotel runs with the town of Shrewsbury and Best Western Hotel in Marlborough to provide jobs for students with disabilities. The MOVE program (Mobile Occupational Vocational Education” places these students in jobs in the hotel’s laundry and kitchen.
“It gives the kids a chance to work alongside professionals” she said. “Everyone loves it – the employees and the kids.”
The next BFF meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Marlborough. The guest speaker will be Brenda Heller, Veterans Inc. project manager. For more information visit www.corridornine.org.