We had the good fortune of connecting with Trica Jean-Baptiste and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Trica, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
I do not subscribe to the idea of reaching an ‘end goal’ in one’s profession or career. For me, as long as what I am doing brings me joy, inspiration, pride and a feeling of accomplishment, there is no need for an end goal. Life is a journey, professionally and personally, one should enjoy the various chapters. It is important to always look towards what is ahead and not necessarily the end.
As a Baby Boomer I am in what I call the ‘Gray Up’ stage of my career. And it feels amazing. As we are living longer, there will be many chapters and career choices. And that is a tremendous fortune, to be able to Reinvent professionally throughout your life. At this phase or chapter of my career, I am playing for legacy. After two amazing careers – in hospitality and real estate, my focus now is on integrating all that I have mastered in both professions into something that will redefine my industry, evolve for years to come. Most important, I am creating a legacy that will provide opportunities for others to prosper and thrive. So, for me, there is not an end game but rather the opportunity to continue and leave a legacy for future generations of entrepreneurs of color.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a former hospitality executive turned commercial real estate consultant and advisor. I began my career in hospitality, as PR Director and Manager at hotel brands such as Doral Hotels & Resorts, Le Parker Meridien Hotel and Cendant Corporation (now Wyndham Hotels & Resorts). After several years in public relations leadership positions in-house, I launched a luxury boutique travel public relations firm, with offices in Paris, France and London, U.K. For fourteen years I represented major international hospitality brands throughout Europe and the Caribbean, as well as tourism boards and authorities in the U.A.E., Scotland and Belgium.
My ascension from in-house PR professional to PR agency owner and now commercial real estate advisor, was not easy. I have been the “First” and “Only” throughout my career. There were many instances where access was not available to me, and I could not compete with colleagues.
I overcame those obstacles by taking control of my destiny. I learned all that I could about each industry, devised a strategy for cultivating relationships with key industry players. Most importantly, I became clear about the value I brought to both industries; and used every opportunity to make certain that others recognized that value. Once I understood what I had to offer, I was able to forge a path to achieve my goals and overcome barriers.
The lesson I learned along the way in both professions was that the folks who are serious about business; transacting and closing deals, truly are not concerned about race or gender. The folks I encountered who were uncomfortable with my ethnicity and/or gender had no place in my network. They were generally not productive, and so I learned to recognize those folks and move on quickly.
My business philosophy and practice is to act with integrity, and empathy, lead with compassion and to help those around me achieve their goals. Empowering and supporting clients and colleagues with whom I am privileged to collaborate, makes me a better entrepreneur. That core philosophy has enabled me to attract an amazing network of entrepreneurs and investors, resulting in decades long professional relationships. And that is the guiding principal of Morgensheer Hospitality Inc.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate this article to my late grandmother, Estelle Wilson Jenkins. My first role model. A strong, powerful, and loving woman, who taught by example. I learned how to be an effective entrepreneur by watching her manage a family, full-time job, and side businesses. I watched her run a food takeout business out of her home with great precision. She was independent and the epitome of strength, courage, and grace. My grandmother had this unique ability to engage people in a manner that drew them to her. She was respected and loved by all who came into contact with her. Throughout my professional life I have held onto and incorporated my grandmother’s great attributes into my business practice. They have served me well. I have accomplished all that I have professionally because of the lessons learned during those precious summers spent with her. She taught me how to be an independent, strong and fierce woman and entrepreneur. She was remarkable. Her spirit continues to guide me and gives me great strength and courage. I hope I have represented her well and that she is proud.
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