Aileen Canta: AF Canta Founder

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My Native Admission Statement: Life is a journey and I give my whole heart and soul in everything that I do. Whether it’s cooking, working out, especially being present and always listening before I speak. Think twice before responding will always have a better result. A F Canta specializes in Hotel Development from inception through completion, a true turn key. This includes brand committee approval, construction management and negotiating a management company match. A F Canta routinely delivers ahead of time and within or less than budget expectations. I motivate others by encouraging them to be involved in creating ideas and synergies. To lead by defining a vision and then let your associates take that future statement and let them add their thoughts and best ways to achieve that end goal. Allowing them to use their creativity and talents for a better product. Empowering them to find the best answer to the problem.

My favorite places/destinations?

The British Virgin Islands is one I love to visit. My experiences with some of my favorite people sailing the Islands has to be up there. Another is exploring Eastern Europe’s non tourist destinations via train and car. Truly immersing myself in the history and lifestyle of the region by visiting churches, castles, hiking, enjoying the food, drinking and classical music.

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Cara Federici: The Madison Melle Agency Founder

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My Native Admission Statement: As the founder of The MADISON MELLE Agency, my team and I serve as a boutique consultancy specializing in hotel and residential mixed-use properties across the globe. My passion and enthusiasm for what I do has been described as infectious. I hand-pick my team to have that same energy and encourage us to learn and create with one another – I’m a big advocate of leading from behind, while also charting the course. I believe this combination of leadership and collaboration motivates my team to take great pride and accountability in all they do. We work to create bespoke brands hand-in-hand with owners and builds a launchpad for success - utilizing creative branding, programing and design to make each project unique. With 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry informing me, I have first-hand insights and experience within the industry that allow me provide strategic consulting.

How did you get into the industry?

I spent the first decade of my career working in-house at some of the world’s top hospitality and real estate companies. My passion and drive for each project allowed me to excel in each position, training me to be fully-versed in every aspect of the industries – from ideation, creation to implementation and operation. Once I realized I had effectively reached the top of my position at each role, I was ready to take that experience and start my own agency. This allowed to specialize in projects at every phase – whether it’s a launch or coming in partway through to optimize or refresh existing initiatives.

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David Shove-Brown: //3877 Partner

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My Native Admission Statement: I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement; I have worked for yellers and screamers and watched firm’s culture get destroyed by an “adult” throwing a temper tantrum. We help people learn from mistakes and apply that knowledge in the future, not berate them into submission so that they develop a fear of decision making and a loathing of coming to work. We want our teams to rise to the occasion and continue to elevate throughout their careers. I have a gift of gab; I enjoy speaking to clients, potential clients, our team and getting everyone excited for the task at hand. I enjoy rallying the troops and getting the best out of those around me. Simultaneously, I thoroughly enjoy one on one interaction with people learning about their experiences and expertise as we strive to make great designs.

Favorite People/Role Models?:

My wife, Maureen, my business partner, David Tracz, my parents Larry and Alice, my mentors Stanley Hallet, George Dove, Ann Cederna, Vyt Gureckas and Stephen Perkins and most importantly, my daughter Brighid Teagan.

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