By Carmen A. Murguia
When Candice Martine Woodring was a young girl, her mother Montine Woodring would pack up the Milwaukee based family for short trips out of town and they would stay at Marriott hotels. Today, Candice, a leading community builder and world traveller, is the Director of Room Operations for Marriott Conference Centers at GE Healthcare Institute and Rivers Edge Condominiums Marriott Hotels, and her road to the Marriott has been a fascinating one.
Raised on the northwest side of town near James Madison High School, Candice left Wisconsin in 1986 to pursue her dream of working in the hotel, airline, and hospitality industry. She really wanted to make her own way and at 18 found her bags packed for the east coast with the blessing of her mother. Following a management training program at a family owned hotel (now Embassy Suites), Washington DC was next on Candice’s route, landing at Southeastern Academy and Nova University in Florida to obtain her Hospitality Degree where she “fell in love with it!” While in Florida, a position as a management executive opened up with a property, she pursued it, and got it. From then on, anything Candice went after in her career, she envisioned it, worked hard for and obtained it. In fact, her Hospitality career has expanded from Director of Regional Sales, General Assistant Manager overseeing the opening of 5 hotels from the ground up, has been a Director of Finance, and she’s managed 3 properties at a time in Key Largo, Florida. In all, Candice has worked in 7 different states throughout her entire career, but her favorite memory still lies in Georgia at a hotel in Buckhead during the Olympics where the athletes and guests took over the hotel and allowed her to make friends from all over the world.
At the urging of her son Christopher Woodring, (who is now 14) to be closer to family especially grandma, Candice returned to Milwaukee in 2005, purchased her first home, joined Marriott International, and dove deep into her volunteer work as a Task Force Member and as the Diversity Liason on the Marriott Business Council for all Wisconsin Marriott Hotels. In her voluntary capacity, Candice’s responsibilities extend from Junior Achievement to the Annual Children’s Hospital Toy Drive to Keeping Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and Readiness for Hotel Careers programs.
“Marriott gives back and that was one of the biggest draws for me,” Candice said. “They are passionate about diversity and are committed to the community globally, which is something I feel very strongly about.”
When she is not setting her sights on her service work for 2013 or serving on the boards of the NAACP and the Urban League, Candice likes to spend time with family barbqueing, arranging family trips to Aruba and other unique places, tackles 8th grade homework, and loves to read anything from racy to period books to soothe her at night. One of her latest Ipad reads that she considers “a must read by everyone” is Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class by Lawrence Otis Graham.
When asked about the things that are important to her and what she believed in Candice replied with ease. “I believe in be kind to people and they’ll be kind to you. I believe in being a person of your word. I believe its important to give back and it’ll come to you. I believe life is short, so love hard and see the world. It’s important to me to learn how people live in other countries which allows me to appreciate what I have in the US. It’s important to me that my 14 year old son has these experiences to broaden his mind and to learn about the different cultures and customs in world. It gives me great joy when I can share this with him and see his eyes widen with enthusiasm.”