top of page
  • Michelle Jensen Session & Anton Safonov

Hertelier Feature: Guiding Lights: Julie Arrowsmith, President and CEO of G6 Hospitality

In the world of hospitality, Julie Arrowsmith's story is anything but ordinary. From crunching numbers in the corporate world to now leading G6 Hospitality as CEO, her journey has been a whirlwind of unexpected twists and inspiring achievements. Stepping into the CEO role in January 2023, Julie is a trailblazer for women in leadership, breaking barriers and advocating for equity and inclusion. Her mission isn't just about her own success; it's about lighting the way for others and empowering the next generation of leaders.


Contributors Michelle Jensen Session and Anton Safonov were thrilled to spend some time with G6 Hospitality’s (G6) Julie Arrowsmith at the 28th Lodging Conference to learn more about her journey and hear what she’s passionate about. G6, known for its iconic Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands, stands as a testament to affordable and comfortable lodging across the United States.


Julie's Entry into Hospitality


For Julie, "We'll Leave The Light On For You," the renowned motto of G6 Hospitality, is more than just a catchphrase; it's a testament to Julie's leadership style – always welcoming, steady, and ever guiding. "When I first joined G6, it wasn't just about operations or finance. It was about the people, the community we serve, and the legacy we're building. Each room isn't just a space; it's a story waiting to unfold," she reflected.


Julie describes her entry into hospitality as a “backdoor approach.” After graduating from Texas A&M University, she started in audit at Deloitte and joined Motel 6 in 1995 as an accounting manager and worked her way up. “I don’t really stay in my lane. I was always asking 'What are you doing over there? How can we help?' I was willing to work on all kinds of projects and I think that’s what really gets you noticed and helped me move beyond purely finance functions.”


Stepping into the G6 CEO Role


Stepping into the G6 CEO role in January 2023, Julie shared that the journey in her new role has been challenging, but that she is “growing that comfort zone a little bigger every day.”


On Being a Female CEO


“As women, we tend to have this imposter syndrome sometimes, where we ask ourselves 'Can I really do this? Is this really what I’m supposed to do?' But when you have a great team around you, which I’m really lucky to have, it makes it easier. We have a lot of tenure at Motel 6, it’s very collaborative, and I’m very blessed to be a part of a culture where everyone wants to help each other succeed. I have a team that I’ve worked with for many years. We trust each other, we bounce ideas off each other, and that helps us move the business forward.”


As women, we tend to have this imposter syndrome sometimes, where we ask ourselves 'Can I really do this? Is this really what I’m supposed to do?'

At Industry events and conferences, Julie is often the only female CEO on the stage. There’s pressure that comes with being the first of anything, and Julie admitted that “at times, when each new step brings some uncertainty, I remind myself to dig a little bit deeper, and remember that I’m speaking not just for myself, but for others who might not have a seat at the table. That’s our job as women leaders especially, to lift up those around us and be a voice for those that aren’t always heard.”


Equity and Inclusion


Open and honest conversations are cornerstones of Julie’s leadership style. Like many women leaders, Julie recently watched the Barbie movie with her daughters, sparking deep conversations about gender and equity:


“I think what women are asking for is equity. An equal voice, equal pay, equal opportunities. But at the same time, it’s not just about women. That’s part of what the Barbie movie talks about. It’s about men, too. Men need it sometimes, too. Everyone needs an advocate. There’s a balance and I’m trying to be a voice out there, speaking for those that don’t always get heard.”


“I think what women are asking for is equity. An equal voice, equal pay, equal opportunities. But at the same time, it’s not just about women. That’s part of what the Barbie movie talks about. It’s about men, too. Men need it sometimes, too. Everyone needs an advocate. There’s a balance and I’m trying to be a voice out there, speaking for those that don’t always get heard.”

Light Her Way Program


Top of mind for Julie is the “Light Her Way” program launched by G6 a year ago to provide tools to empower female Franchise ownership. “I’d really like to see the number of female owners increase, and it’s something we’re thinking a lot about - how do we accelerate the pace of the program.”


Julie expanded on why Motel 6 and Studio 6 is a good option for those entering hotel ownership: “With our brand, it’s a simple business model, so if you’re starting something new, we provide a unique opportunity just by the nature of our business. You get to focus on the entire hotel operation. We don’t have food and beverage. You don’t have to run big banquets. If you want to expand later, you can, but this is a great place to start.”


In early October, G6 Hospitality will host its brand conference bringing together owners from across the brands to “Shine Bright Together.” The theme highlights G6’s focus on partnership with owners and commitment to them.


“As a brand, we’re very much built on community and relationships amongst our owners. Something I hear consistently from our owners is that the reason they choose us is that they feel like family. When they pick up the phone, they know the phone is going to be answered and that they will get the support that they need. When you’re starting in a new venture, especially as a woman, we gravitate towards relationships. We’re very relationship oriented. So why not select a brand where it’s a part of their DNA?”


Mentorship and Its Impact


When asked about mentors and mentorships and its impact on her own career, Julie observed that “There wasn’t just one. I’ve had a number of really inspirational people who have taught me a lot about hospitality and about doing business and leading, but I also think there are these micro moments along the way in your career that you get that boost just when you need it, you get the right advice at the right time. The mentorship I’ve received has been really important, and I hope I can be that person for other people, even if I’m only coming into contact with them for short moments.”


Lessons for Future Generations


As Julie reflected on her own journey, she shared the advice that she gives her own daughters and other young women she’s met along the way:


“You’ve got to put yourself out there. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid. Don’t just sit there and not understand. Go introduce yourself to people. Be a sponge. Learn, learn, learn, and then you’ll start to feel a little more confident. That’s often the one thing standing in the way - the willingness to take that first leap.”


0 views0 comments
bottom of page