Beverly Nicholson-Doty’s job is to ensure that some of the country’s most beloved tropical destinations see a continued uptick in tourism and development. After hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaged popular vacation spots, Nicholson-Doty and her team kicked into high gear to oversee swift rehabilitation and revitalization of the tourism-sustained islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. Nicholson-Doty, our 2017 EBONY Women Up honoree, is a woman making her presence known in one of the most challenging industries. The travel and tourism industry generates well over $1.5 trillion in economic output and supports 7.6 million jobs. Nicholson-Doty talks with EBONY and breaks down what it takes to sustain her role as a leader.
EBONY: What obstacles have you had to overcome to achieve success?
Nicholson-Doty: Along with many of my sisters in the tourism and hospitality industry, I have faced many challenges in my career. That is why women really need to encourage and support each other and act as role models for the younger women who might see us as mentors.
Just like success, people define and measure power differently. Some define it by dollar amount, while others measure it on a greater, more personal and internal level. What does power mean to you?
Success for me is defined by bringing someone along. Our forebears believed each of us has a responsibility to pass on what we have learned, and I have tried to practice that in my own life. Responsibility should never be taken lightly. Helping the U.S. Virgin Islands rebound from adversity is a big part of my responsibilities. My achievement will be measured by how effective the operation remains long after I’ve left.
Given your platform and success, how do you demonstrate your responsibility to help inspire others? Be it through your real-life actions, social media, etc?
While formal mentoring is positive and beneficial my management style is one of coaching. I want my team to constantly stretch. To reach one’s potential you can’t get too comfortable. While my goal is to remind the world that the U.S. Virgin Islands is “Still Nice” as our Territory recovers from hurricanes Irma and Maria, I also leverage social media to showcase our entrepreneurs’ talents and to show potential visitors what we have to offer. I want everyone to know that they each have integral roles in the tourism sector and that they can count on the government’s support.
How do you ensure that you stay “charged up,” in both the inspiration/motivation sense, as well as physically, in energy?
Faith and family. My relationship with God is my source of strength. Family is important in that they help to provide balance. My sisters—both biological and by choice—are motivational. We laugh and cry together, both are excellent therapy. My job requires a lot of travel, which can be tiring, so I make sure I have some essentials with me on the road. I have to take a good read along with me—be it a book or magazine—and my aroma diffuser, which helps me relax and recharge after long days. Making sure that I eat well-balanced meals and listening to audiobooks helps a great deal, too. Traveling and experiencing other cultures also motivates me and usually leaves me full of ideas to implement across our islands.
Long after you retire, what would you like your legacy to be?
I would like to be remembered as someone who gave her best despite what looked like insurmountable challenges. I would also like to know that I’ve left a foundation for another generation to build upon so that our industry and our territory continues to grow and flourish.