Hannah Weller-Barrise is our Unicorn of the Month for May 2021. Hannah was awarded for her ability to simplify ideas and tasks so that they are meaningful and impactful and for her exemplary teamwork. In her role as Director of Hospitality Solutions, she works closely with Sales, Product, Marketing, Analytics, Deployment, Customer Success, and our Executive team. An experienced revenue professional, having previously worked as VP of Revenue at London-based Ennismore where she focused on the US expansion of The Hoxton, as well as time with Hersha Hospitality Management and Denihan, she has fast become an incredible resource for Duetto.
We caught up with Hannah to find out more about her role, her work experience prior to Duetto, and how she felt about being honored with our Unicorn of the Month award.
When did you join Duetto?
My first day at Duetto was March 2, 2020. Little did we know that would be that last week before lockdown! I had plans to fly to Europe for onboarding with our EMEA team but decided to wait “a week or two” for things to settle down. To this day I still haven’t met that team in person and am looking forward to it.
What was your work experience before joining the team?
My professional experience has been focused on Revenue Management and commercial strategy for hotels. I’ve had the opportunity to work for best-in-class owners/operators including Denihan and HHM and most recently before joining Duetto I worked for Ennismore, an incredible company headquartered in London. I was brought into a newly formed team based out of New York City as VP of Revenue and was tasked with building the company’s revenue management function in North America and opening every new Hoxton hotel on this side of the Atlantic. We started from the ground up, implemented technology, hired teams, set strategies, and ultimately opened hotels in NYC, Chicago, Portland, and Los Angeles in incredibly quick succession. I’m in awe of what that team accomplished in such a short amount of time and the culture that was created along the way. It was an experience that really shaped the way I think about my future professional goals. Shout out to the Ennismore Team who just recently opened the newest Hoxton in Rome. I can’t wait to visit.
Can you remember what it was that attracted you to Duetto?
The number one thing that attracted me to Duetto was my trust in the product. I had worked with Duetto as a customer at a handful of different points in my career and had seen firsthand both how fast Duetto was innovating and how effective it was at helping teams work efficiently and effectively. The number two thing that attracted me to Duetto was the people.
Tell us what your job entails?
My title is Director of Hospitality Solutions and I work in the solutions engineering arm of the business, focused on the Americas. This means I get to work with hoteliers and revenue management teams who are in the process of upgrading their tech stacks. First, I try to understand what challenges they face today. Then I uncover how Duetto can solve those challenges and ultimately set them up to exceed their goals.
Within the Duetto team I get to work closely with Sales, Marketing, and Product. That collaboration across teams reminds me a lot of the collaboration across commercial teams at hotel companies and is something I love about my job.
What is your average day like?
No day is the same. And that’s how I like it!
What do you most love about your job?
Helping hoteliers exceed their revenue goals.
Best day you’ve ever had working at Duetto?
It’s hard to choose. We’ve shared some great wins as a team and I’ve had visibility into some very exciting projects. Those days are fun and motivating. But if I have to pick one I’d say it was the day David Woolenberg, Duetto’s CEO, announced I had been recognized as the Unicorn of the Month. While it’s a playful name, it comes with a lot of meaning, particularly after the unique challenges of the last 15 months. David shared that one of my colleagues said: “Hannah treats everyone with the utmost respect and has an incredible ability to simplify ideas and tasks so they are meaningful and impactful.” First, wow, thank you to whoever said that. It feels like what I set out to do when I joined Duetto and how I’ve chosen to navigate the last year is kind of bundled up into that little snippet.
It also served as a reminder that we have to recognize each other for the work we put in and the accomplishments we achieve. Yes, it’s important to hold each other accountable but it’s equally important to build each other up. It’s my belief that in difficult moments those who can break down a challenge into manageable components, stay positive, and work together with those around them (whether it be with teammates at work or families at home) emerge stronger and ready to make the most of whatever comes next. Recognition, big and small, even in the most difficult times, is an important part of that process.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking at a career in hotel tech right now?
Work hard, find learning opportunities, observe good leaders, and dedicate time to staying current. Our industry is dynamic and evolving at such a rapid pace that those who can deliver answers to the problems of the future will succeed.
Interested in becoming a part of the Duetto community? Check out our Careers Page for our current openings.