As Regional Director of Sales for LBA Hospitality, Merrily Strickland believes her first responsibility is to her associates. Merrily’s father, was an important role model in her life. She says that his ability to communicate and connect with his family and community inspired her as a leader in her career.
Merrily graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In 2001, Merrily began working with the Hattiesburg Convention Commission as a sales manager for the convention center, the Saenger Theater and local museums. A three-year position as the director of sales at a Holiday Inn followed, during which she was recruited for the position of dual director of sales for LBA Hospitality’s Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott Hattiesburg in 2009. Merrily served in that position for nine years before moving into the general manager position at the Courtyard.
After facing hurdles in her first several years in this position, Merrily was proud to be nominated as an operations leader. Merrily was the recipient of many awards over the years, including revenue awards, HR Hero, Top 10 General Manager and more.
In her new role, Merrily serves as a leader in all sales efforts in the region she supports. Her focus is on empowering leaders to strengthen their market knowledge and to coordinate sales efforts with on-property teams to reach revenue growth goals.
Merrily loves to spend time outdoors with her husband and three children on the weekends. They enjoy hiking, swimming, and fishing together, and they are also big Disney fans (though Merrily’s fear of heights keeps her off the high rides!). While she can claim more than 20 years in the sales industry, Merrily credits a philosophy of “one day at a time” for success in both work and life.