whitney brown

Fabulous People: Whitney Brown

Whitney Brown is the general manager of Thompson Seattle, a luxury and lifestyle hotel in the heart of Downtown Seattle. Brown has been a part of leading the hotel to be a three-time winner of the Conde Nast Reader’s Choice Award for best hotel in the Pacific Northwest. Learn about Whitney Brown…

Hometown: Poulsbo, WA

First job: Retail clerk at a Scandinavian gift shop in my hometown. Half the shop was full of fine crystal, the other was a kitchen store. It was a perfect first job to cut my teeth on.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Exploring neighborhood parks/green spaces, farmer’s markets, watching live music, cooking, reading and writing.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Reinventing my career whenever I no longer felt challenged. I’ve had the opportunity to open and run restaurants and bars, sell and service all types of events from intimate 20-person weddings to 2,000-person corporate events, and now I’m managing a premier, luxury property in the Seattle market. Being able to shift gears and pivot in a different direction (sometimes a different city) on so many occasions is something I’m very proud of.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Navigating hotels and restaurants in a COVID environment. I never thought the day would come where I had to lay off 90 percent of my staff. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.

Someone who inspires you and why: My grandmothers. They were both trailblazers in their own right during a time when it wasn’t easy for women to be opinionated or successful. I am grateful to have come from a family with such strong women.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Know the name of every single person you work with and take an interest in something they are proud of. There’s nothing more valuable than human connection (in any industry), and it begins with taking the time to get to know people on a human level and respect their role in the foundation of your business.

Favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: A lifelong dream of mine is to bungee jump off the Niouc Bridge in Val d’Anniviers, Switzerland.

What makes someone fabulous: Unwavering integrity, vulnerability among superiors, peers and subordinates, and being able to find a reason to laugh in any situation.

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