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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Stanley

I Define Who I Am: Ageism is a Cultural Issue, Not a Personal Problem

What impact does ageism have on women in business?

In the latest episode of Dare to Interrupt, Dr. Lalia Rach, executive managing director at ALHI, and Donna Kastner, founder of Retirepreneur, discuss their experience and perspective on the role that age plays in career development.

Read on for information about the stars of this episode, Lalia and Donna!

Dr. Lalia Rach is the executive managing director of Strategic Consulting Services, a division of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). In this role Lalia is responsible for developing and delivering strategic and managerial consulting services to member hotels and clients. Each service is custom designed so the information, guidance and training result in greater value to the organization and the attendee. She is known for her practical, informative and entertaining presentations whether a keynote speech, a workshop or as an MC for a conference.

An audience favorite as demonstrated by repeat engagements and survey feedback, Lalia prides herself on uniquely crafting each presentation to fit the needs of the client and their audience. Her first book, Managing the Book on You: Rewriting your Leadership Story!, is available on Amazon in paperback, audible and Kindle. It is designed as a workbook to assist leaders in advancing their success and to better manage old impressions and views held by others within the organization about their leadership ability.

As the founder and partner of Rach Enterprises, a consulting firm that takes an uncommon-sense approach and delivers genuine ideas that challenge tradition, Lalia served as a trusted adviser to senior level executives at many leading organizations.

As a university educator, Lalia served as dean at several top hospitality and tourism programs. At New York University her leadership ability resulted in the creation of one of the world’s most innovative graduate and undergraduate programs in the business of hospitality, sports and tourism. As the founding dean of the NYU Preston Robert Tisch Center, she was responsible for the creation of the first graduate level concentration in Revenue Management; published the first wholly focused study on women travelers; raised funds for the purchase of a permanent home for the Center on the NYU campus; and lead the expansion of the NYU Hospitality Industry Development Conference as the premier event within the global hotel industry.

Among her awards and honors are: Influential Women in Hospitality: Hotel Management magazine; Smart Women in Meetings: Visionary from Smart Meetings magazine; the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing from Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International; selected as one of the 33 Most Influential People in the Travel Industry from Travel Weekly; featured in “Meet the 25 Most Influential Women in Travel” by Forbes Life Executive Woman; recipient of the Professional of the Year Award from Big Apple Chapter Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association; and recipient of the Special Hospitality Award recipient from NYC & Co. She holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Donna works with community leaders to help them activate age-friendly measures that will benefit all generations. With a special focus on two types of communities, here's how this plays out: As a Del Mar Encore Fellow with The Dayton Foundation, Donna is working with city government leaders to help them gauge needs and design plans that enhance livability.

Using the AARP Livable Communities model, initiatives might focus on a number of issues, including housing, transportation, health/well-being, employment, civic engagement, etc.

Securing grant funding to support these initiatives is also within Donna's scope. Viewing events as "pop-up villages" of sorts, Donna will often assess and recommend adjustments to create event experiences that resonate with all generations.

Considering that the age 60-plus segment now controls 70% of discretionary spend, Donna is also helping event organizers to better serve this audience with learning experiences (F2F and virtual) that speak to encore career pursuits.

Donna is a champion for those who are too young to be done and an advocate for richer cross-generational exchanges, because that's where breakthrough ideas are found.

Listen now to experience the full episode and share what your favorite part was with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Never miss an episode by subscribing to the podcast on your favorite platform (Google Podcasts, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and more). If you like what you hear, leave a review and share with a friend!

Contact me to lead, inspire, or facilitate a game-changing conversation for your next conference or event.

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