ABout US

Hi, it’s Denise Durgin here! I started my career at Marriott International in the Back Bay of Boston. After 28+ years’ in the travel industry, I’ve come full circle to create Back Bay Leadership. A space where people can dig deeper into their team or organizational culture and understand what’s off track toward performance.

During my time at Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton, I always felt I fit into the culture as I had the inner game to serve my teams, leaders and customers day in and day out. It was a privilege to serve and represent these brands from day one. Through my years at Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton, I’ve become so passionate about building strong, sustainable cultures that drive engagement and team performance. I thrive in environments that create energy, curiosity, employee engagement and advancement. I study and read about successful organizations. I watch organizations from a consumer’s view point through my own consumer journey. And the one common thread; engaged organizational cultures consistently result in an engaged workforce. This positive work environment creates higher team performance which translates to higher customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. But it takes leadership and the entire team to deliver this exceptional service. It’s not a game of one.

At Back Bay Leadership my business background and experiences afford me the ability to relate to clients who face challenges that seem unique but are very similar to other organizations and industries. During my tenure in sales, marketing and asset management, I partnered and worked with hundreds of sales professionals at over 200 hotels within various brands, worked with dozens of hotel ownership groups and liaised with travel industry experts at places like Expedia, CVENT, TripAdvisor and Booking.com.  I led a $350M sales division at Marriott, held executive positions and witnessed one of  the largest hotel merger and acquisition’s from an owner’s purview; the Marriott and Starwood hotel merger.

In my coaching practice, I combine my experience and passion for others' to succeed in four ways.

Leadership Coaching: 

I specialize in leading sales teams with a winning game plan for success.  Sales and marketing challenges are very similar across industries. Leading change, shifting strategy, creating a winning culture of productivity and recognition for success to name a few.  I welcome your most challenging situations. 

Team Coaching: 

During my 25+ years at Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton I led teams and believe their success is based on engaged leadership where the team’s vision and goals are clear. The leaders who genuinely care about each member of their team succeed as their people succeed and the customers feel this positive service experience.

Each team has a unique set of challenges all dependent on human interaction, trust and a belief that the team will succeed and serve their customers with excellence. I believe the internal culture of your team and organization is a direct correlation to your success.

Skills Based:

Whether you are mid stream in your career or at the top, we can work together to hone in on that one skill you want to improve in order to move the team or organization forward. Think of athletes, or musicians; they have coaches that help them work on their skills; skills development coaching is very similar in theory.

Executive Development:

From emerging leaders to executives, daily challenges and stresses are present. Working with a coach to improve certain aspects of your leadership style can be one of the best investments you can make. I know, as I had an executive coach for my biggest assignment at Marriott. My engagements with my coach made me more effective, we explored vulnerabilities and set actions plans toward my goals. I was so inspired by my coach that it led me to pursue my practice as an executive coach with the same positive and supportive energy for improvement.



EDUCATION, affiliations & Certifications

I have a B.S. in Hotel and Tourism Management from UMASS Amherst, Isenberg School of Management where I volunteer as a mentor to the HTM School.  In 2016, I earned my Executive Master’s degree in Leadership at Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business where I currently coach as part of their Exec Ed division. I am a certified executive coach through The Center for Executive Coaching as well as I’m ACC certified under the International Coach Federation (ICF).