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Cecilia Gordon - 2022 Northeast Trailblazer

Cecilia Gordon has been named to The American Lawyer's 2022 Northeast Trailblazers list for her visionary work and unique approach to advising hospitality industry clients on the investment in and management of hotel and resort properties across the country. What was the genesis of Cecilia’s path to Trailblazer? Read below to learn more.

What was the genesis of the idea/path that has made you a trailblazer?

I handled my first hotel project early in my career and have been hooked ever since. The hospitality industry is tight-knit, focused on building bridges and long-term relationships. Unlike many other real estate negotiations where one party’s gain is another’s loss, hospitality deals are about bringing multiple parties together – the management company, investor/lender, and brand owner – to create a working relationship where each part strengthens the whole.

 What sort of change has resulted from the concept?

I help clients develop innovative ways to invest in and operate hotels and resorts across the country. Investment and management companies don’t come to me for their run-of-the-mill projects, they seek me out for my deep understanding of complex projects and ability to find a common thread in different operational structures and cultures.

While many of my clients are long-time leaders in the hospitality industry, others are either new to the asset class or changing their role, such as transitioning from operating hotels to owning them or expanding a brand to allow for third-party management. It’s a quirky industry, and I frequently have to figure out how to do something that has never been done before.

I love both the process of creating a business structure from scratch and making strategic changes to an existing structure so it works for all parties. Nothing makes me happier than solving what seems like an unsolvable problem.

What bearing will this have on the future?

During the pandemic, the entire hospitality industry had to navigate through unprecedented challenges – from closing hotels, to safely reopening, to everything in between. Hotel owners and operators survived because of the support they received from their brands and lenders. Strong, collaborative relationships are the future of this industry – everyone has to work together to protect the asset.