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Leading with Passion and Purpose: Honoring the Women of LondonHouse Chicago for Women's History Month

Leading with Passion and Purpose: Honoring the Women of LondonHouse Chicago for Women's History Month

This Women's History Month, we shine a spotlight on the remarkable women behind the success of LondonHouse Chicago. From finance to events, housekeeping to culinary arts, these inspiring individuals bring their unique talents, passions, and perspectives to create a welcoming and memorable experience for guests.

In this feature, we explore the professional roles these women hold at LondonHouse Chicago. We also uncover the historical and contemporary women who inspire them, and their most cherished eras in Chicago's rich history. We hope you enjoy learning a little more about these incredible women and the impact they have on making our hotel operate at the highest level. We've organized their stories by tenure at LondonHouse, from the longest-serving to the newest members of our team.

We begin by paying special tribute to Julie Hellyer, our opening Director of Housekeeping. She was a visionary whose profound contributions during the critical pre-opening phase set a high standard for operational excellence. Her enduring legacy within the hospitality industry exemplifies a pioneering spirit and dedication that continues to inspire our team.

Julie Hellyer: Opening Director of Housekeeping (In Memoriam) 

Julie Hellyer, our opening Director of Housekeeping at LondonHouse Chicago, set an unparalleled standard of excellence. Her leadership during our pre-opening phase and her impactful career that included opening major Chicago luxury properties like Public, Trump International, Sofitel, Elysian (now Waldorf Astoria), and The Peninsula, left an indelible mark on the city's hospitality landscape. Despite her untimely passing from cancer, Julie's visionary spirit and commitment to excellence continue to resonate within LondonHouse and the broader hospitality community. Her legacy is a beacon for current and future generations of hoteliers, demonstrating the profound impact one individual can have on an industry.

Isabel De La Cruz: Director of Housekeeping (7 years)

Isabel De La Cruz, a foundational member of our team, exemplifies dedication to teamwork and excellence in communication. She continues to draw inspiration from the aforementioned Julie Hellyer, whose valuable contributions during our pre-opening phase helped shape our operations. Isabel worked side by side with Julie, collaboratively laying the groundwork for the exceptional team we have today. Isabel's affinity for Chicago's history is particularly strong for the 1990s, a decade she cherishes for its dynamic sports culture and the Chicago Bulls' legendary championship wins.

Lydia Czyszczon: Senior Conference & Event Planning Manager (7 years)

Lydia Czyszczon, a seven-year veteran at LondonHouse, is an expert in creating unforgettable events that forge deep connections. Her knack for turning gatherings into celebrations of joy and community is unmatched. Lydia's admiration for Bertha Honoré Palmer, a visionary in Chicago's Gilded Age, mirrors her own pioneering spirit. Her time travel dream would be to experience the cultural and social dynamism of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, reflecting her deep engagement with Chicago's historical legacy.

Mayra Michelle Diaz: Associate Director of Sales & Marketing (7 years)

Mayra Michelle Diaz brings seven years of dedication to fostering a team environment where empathy and collaboration are paramount. Inspired by Indra Nooyi's groundbreaking leadership, Mayra is deeply influenced by the synergy between professional success and personal fulfillment. Her profound connection to Chicago is epitomized by her nostalgic yearning for the 1990s, a time of iconic sports achievements and cultural milestones, highlighting her pride in her city's rich heritage.

Liliana Trejo: VP of Finance (6 years)

Liliana Trejo, with six years at LondonHouse, oversees the financial helm with a keen eye for innovation. Her passion for global travel enriches her perspective, bringing invaluable insights to her role. Liliana's admiration for Andrea Grigg's contributions to hospitality and her desire to experience Chicago's blues scene of the 1950s underscore her appreciation for cultural and musical heritage.

Chef Liz Sweeney: Executive Chef (4 years)

In her four years at LondonHouse, Chef Liz Sweeney combines her culinary prowess with a passion for gardening and food history. Celebrating the legacies of Joyce Chen and Edna Lewis, Liz is inspired by their contributions to American cuisine. While curious about the 1920s and 1930s for their cultural richness, she values the present for the opportunities it affords women in her field.

Pam Duff: Director of Human Resources (2½ years)

Pam Duff's 2½ years at LondonHouse are marked by her unwavering commitment to employee support and advocacy. Inspired by Tammy Duckworth's resilience and leadership, Pam embodies the belief in the limitless potential of women. Her fascination with the roaring 20s reflects a yearning for an era of economic growth and cultural vibrancy in Chicago's history.

Mary Skoubis: Head Concierge (2½ years)

Mary Skoubis has been with us for over two years, bringing more than twenty five years of hospitality experience to LondonHouse Chicago. Her commitment to exceeding guest expectations is unmatched, rooted in a nurturing approach that significantly enhances guest experiences. A memorable encounter with Dr. Maya Angelou has deeply influenced her professional ethos, infusing her work with grace and eloquence. Mary's fondness for the 1910s era in Chicago, noted for its quaint charm and historical richness, showcases her profound connection to and appreciation for the city's diverse cultural tapestry.

More Than Just Roles

These women are more than their job titles. They are mothers, explorers, history buffs, and passionate advocates. They bring their unique stories and experiences to create a dynamic and welcoming environment at LondonHouse Chicago.

They exemplify leadership, creativity, and a deep-seated love for their city. Their contributions not only elevate the hotel's standing but also enrich the cultural and historical narrative of Chicago, making LondonHouse Chicago a symbol of female empowerment and innovation in hospitality.

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