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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Stanley

Leading Today: Navigating Imposter Syndrome, Gen Z and Post-Pandemic Career Advancement

Tune into this special live audience recording at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville during Meetings Today LIVE! South, as host Courtney Stanley interviews influential leaders on the most pressing topics facing women in the industry, including confidence development, managing Gen Z, post-pandemic career advancement and more.

Featured guests on this special episode of Dare to Interrupt include Dee Patel, Managing Director of The Hermitage Hotel, Jessie States, Vice President of MPI Academy at Meeting Professionals International, and LeAnn Phelan, Owner of LP Creative MGMT & LP Creative Therapy.

Read on for information about the stars of this episode:

Dee Patel is managing director of The Hermitage Hotel, where she is responsible for running all aspects of the company and guiding the strategic direction of the hotel, Nashville’s iconic gathering place. This includes two new restaurants, a culinary collaboration with internationally renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and a hotel-wide redesign that was unveiled in 2022.

In addition to her responsibilities at The Hermitage Hotel, she oversees the management of various related real estate entities. Appointed to her position in 2019, Patel is the first female managing director in The Hermitage Hotel’s 113-year history. Prior to assuming her current role, she served as the hotel’s general manager for five years. Patel began her career at The Hermitage Hotel in the rooms division and quickly rose through the ranks. Her earlier career experience includes management roles at the hotel’s sister property, Keswick Hall, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Equally committed to being an influential voice and advocate for women and diversity, Patel is a member of the International Women’s Forum of Tennessee, and she organized Nashville’s plans for the 19th Amendment centennial celebration in 2020. She was named among the most powerful people in Nashville’s business community on the “Power 100” list by the Nashville Business Journal in 2022 and 2021; Outstanding Woman Hotelier of the Year award presented by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association; Nashville Lifestyles’ 2021 Women In Business; NFocus’ 2021 Most Powerful Women; and Best Historic Steward of 2022 by Nashville Scene.

Patel graduated magna cum laude from Johnson & Wales University, Charleston, South Carolina. In her off-time, she enjoys family travel, exploring new cuisine and spending time with her husband and their two children embracing the culture and traditions of the places she visits.


LeAnn Phelan is a 25-year veteran music executive who currently runs multi-faceted LP Creative Management, an artist/songwriter/producer management, publishing and consulting company.

Phelan serves as a creative wellness coach through her company LP Creative Therapy, where she mentors and educates songwriters/artists/producers/creative execs via workshops, private sessions and courses. LeAnn has been invited to share her knowledge with prominent music schools such as Belmont, Berklee, University of Illinois and Blair School of Music, as well as songwriter groups around the globe. SMACK, Combustion Music and BMG Music Publishing Nashville are clients of LeAnn’s services of uniquely supporting the songwriting community.

Phelan has spoken at over 200+ events including co-hosting ASCAP awards shows. LeAnn most recently used her speaking and creative coaching skills for The Kraft Heinz Company, The Cathy Heller Podcast and Patrice Washington’s Command the Stage.

She was formerly Co-Head of ASCAP Nashville Creative, where her passion was creating opportunities for Nashville's diverse creative community, including the GPS Project. Phelan previously worked with 19 Entertainment as a Writer/Producer Manager and served as a preliminary judge for American Idol seasons 6-9. Before joining 19 Entertainment, Phelan was senior director, A&R at Sony Nashville and VP at Combustion Music.

LeAnn has received the following honors: Music City Milestone from her alma mater Belmont University, Billboards Most Powerful Women In Music 2015, and Women in Music City 2017.


Jessie States, CMP, CMM, is vice president of the MPI Academy for Meeting Professionals International, where she leads and advances MPI’s professional development strategy, developing and managing MPI’s portfolio of education, including live and digital events, knowledge experiences, professional certificate programs and educational partnerships.

States earned the 2018 Pacesetter Award from the Events Industry Council and the 2023 IACC Award of Excellence. She has also earned spots on the lists of 25 Most Influential People in Meetings and Events (Successful Meetings magazine) and Meetings Trendsetters (Meetings Today magazine).

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

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

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