“There’s a vastness here and I believe that the people who are born here breathe that vastness into their soul. They dream big dreams and think big thoughts, because there is nothing to hem them in.”
– Hilton Hotels Founder Conrad Hilton, on Texas
Jillian Glenn was born in Texas. She dreams big dreams and she thinks big thoughts, and we’re so glad she moved to Florida and joined the Innisfree Hotels family.
At just 25 years old, Jillian has worked for Innisfree since 2013. She’s been promoted three times during her short tenure, and was recognized by the independent news outlet InWeekly as a Rising Star in 2016.
After moving to Pensacola in her senior year of high school, Jillian earned her associate’s degree by the time she graduated. When she transferred to the University of West Florida, she felt pressure to declare a major, but had no idea what she wanted to do for a career.
She chose a degree in communications with a specialization in public relations and a minor in marketing applications. Working two to three jobs throughout college, she also took on internships with DeLuna Fest and the UWF Communications Department, as well as for a radio station and mobile app. But she still didn’t know which direction to take.
Fate intervened when Jillian’s best friend applied for a job as community manager with Innisfree Hotels.
“After the interview, she called me and said she couldn’t accept the job because it was made for me,” Jillian says. “And she was right.”
Jillian started at the intern level and has adeptly switched job roles as needed. When Chief Marketing Officer Jill Thomas recognized her talent and ambition, she shifted her focus to become Director of Social and Content Strategy.
Before she knew it, Jillian was managing a small team of community managers – the very job she was hired to do.
One of her first projects was pre-opening marketing for the Holiday Inn Resort in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., which broke records both at Innisfree and Holiday Inn for pre-opening bookings.
Jillian says her job is fun because she learns something new every day, but perhaps her biggest lesson is in leadership. “I’ve advanced so quickly I didn’t realize I was thrust into a leadership role,” she tells us. “I’m still learning how to direct people my own age and how to balance our work life and friendships.”
Both Thomas and Senior Digital Strategist Melissa Wheeler have been phenomenal mentors, wanting the best for Jillian and putting her in positions of growth. She says her strong opinions are always heard at Innisfree.
Jillian loves her job not only because it’s a fun work environment, but also because the company does a lot of good.
“I feel like many people don’t know about Innisfree Hotels, and we do wonders in the marketing of this community, especially the beach,” she says. “I’m glad to be recognized as a Rising Star to bring awareness of what Innisfree does for this community.”
She enjoys being part of corporate social responsibility program The Hive projects, like Dixon School of the Arts and From the Ground Up community garden.
But most of all, she is happy to change lives … one vacation at a time.
“When I started at UWF, I was very unsure of what I wanted to do when I grew up. In my first PR class, our final project was to write an essay about where we saw ourselves in the industry,” Jillian recalls. “I wrote that I wanted to be a travel agent, to make vacations happen for families. And sure enough, that’s exactly what I do today.”
Jillian says one of the best things about Innisfree is the company culture – the feeling of family.
“It’s cool knowing everyone is there for you and cares for you,” she says. “No matter what position you are, everybody knows your name.”
Get used to people knowing your name, Rising Star.
– Ashley Kahn Salley
Lead Storyteller, Innisfree Hotels