Women in Business Q&A: Logan Rich Chabina, EVP and CMO, EMM Group

Logan Rich Chabina is the Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer responsible for the events, marketing and public relations divisions at EMM Group, one of New York's most successful and multi-faceted hospitality management companies. Since joining EMM Group as the company's first employee in 2006, Mrs. Chabina has guided the simultaneous growth of several departments from the ground up, playing an integral role in the development of company-wide strategies that have led to increased sales, elevated guest experiences and peak brand awareness across a myriad of platforms.

With more than 10 years of experience in events, traditional and digital marketing, as well as hospitality brand development, Mrs. Chabina oversees nearly all aspects of these departments, working with her team to introduce new products, enhance menus and procedures of service across venues, cultivate new methods of customer acquisition and retention and develop a continual stream of custom content for integration into the design and functionality of the corporate website and social media channels, for which she is also responsible.

Mrs. Chabina holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and worked at major hospitality groups, including BR Guest Hospitality and Midnight Oil Company, prior to EMM Group's inception.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I believe that a leadership mentality is something that grows within young people as they begin to develop their sense of self. In my personal experience, the self-awareness I gained throughout the years fueled my desire to excel and gave me the confidence to trust in my own abilities. I began to understand that individual effort is one of life's great equalizers and that if you care about anything enough to mobilize yourself, you can, in time, motivate others as well.

How has your previous employment experience aided your tenure at EMM Group?
To answer this question fairly, I should mention that I have been with EMM Group since we incorporated in 2006 and previously worked closely with one of the founding Partners. I'd be remiss not to acknowledge how profoundly that employment experience shaped my own perception of "success" and the degree to which I could personally play a role in precipitating it in a professional environment. I was empowered by my contribution to a formidable team dynamic and the sense of direction it gave me then, and even still now, as I come up on my 9th anniversary at EMM Group.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at EMM Group?
Oddly enough, many of my toughest challenges have led to some of my biggest highlights. As anyone who has worked for a startup can attest, you need to maintain a small company mindset; meaning there is no such thing as 'mine' and 'theirs' when it comes to a task at hand. You have to be prepared to work above and below your perceived "level" and recognize that it will not always be clear as to the best way to begin a project. If you don't push through that unfamiliar territory, it is unlikely that others will either. The possibility of failure is always daunting, but failing to try is far worse. I know firsthand that there is nothing quite like being present in a moment, or series of moments, in which you can feel yourself grow into a stronger, more capable member of the team.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in the hospitality industry?
I would tell women who want a career in hospitality, or any industry for that matter, that confidence and commitment are the core components of success. In a highly competitive workforce, leading by example and letting your work speak for itself is one of the most powerful things you can do to set yourself apart. Accept challenges and be open to criticism. Step outside your comfort zone. Risk failure. In other words, Lean In, and if that doesn't work, lean harder. Accept the praise you deserve, but be careful not to measure the entirety of your self-worth by it. Be your own advocate and, where necessary, fight for your seat at the table. Never apologize for your ambitions. You may not always be the most popular for your efforts, but if done correctly you will always be respected.

What is the most important lesson you've learned in your career to date?
I think impatience and the desire for immediate satisfaction live in all of us to some extent. We work hard and we want to see the fruits of our labor manifest in visible results, by which we may measure our own degree of success. One of the most important lessons I've learned is that you have to be able to zoom out and put things in perspective in order to appreciate a situation in its entirety.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
This is a tough question. In this day and age, particularly in a business where everything is real-time, all of the time, I've been fortunate enough to create a balance that has allowed me to thrive at work and at home for many years. The mobility that modern technology grants us, coupled with the flexibility afforded by a non-traditional work environment and a genuine love of my job, has made the fast-paced, everyday demands of my work environment more manageable than one might think. In some sense, I've blurred the lines between work and life with a passion for both and have been very fortunate to have found my biggest supporter at home in a husband and true partner who understands and respects my constant need to grind it out.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
I think that as women we bear the burden of proof. We often have to prove ourselves first, in order to get that proverbial seat at the table, whereas our society still, to some degree, tends to place great value in our male counterparts for their potential to accomplish before they've actually performed. In spite of this disparity, I think this makes some women stronger candidates in the end, as they evolve into results-driven leaders within their respective institutions.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Mentors have taught me that there is no shortage of people who can teach you something about yourself if you're willing and able to learn it. We all aspire to absorb the best qualities of the people we look up to and I've been lucky enough to have great personal mentors in my parents and strong professional mentors in my partners, who are constantly showing me new ways in which we may continue to grow.

What do you want EMM Group to accomplish in the next year?
It's an exciting time for EMM Group and we have a big year ahead as we continue to expand the CATCH brand to key national and international markets. Our team is more focused than ever on the core tenants of our business and I'm looking forward to seeing it translate into new locations as we grow.