Howard alum Joi Jackson is a major player in sports and hospitality industries

Photo courtesy of Joi Jackson

A seasoned hospitality sales professional, Joi Jackson has held senior-level positions at several hotel management companies and sports and entertainment venues in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore and generated more than $2 billion in annual sales over the course of her 18-year career.

Since 2017, she has been director of catering sales for Levy Restaurants at Mercedes-Benz Stadium — home of the Atlanta Falcons football franchise and Atlanta United soccer team. In her role, Jackson — who has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Howard University and a master’s of business administration in tourism and hospitality management from George Washington University — works to ensure that fans and event-goers enjoy all of the food and other amenities the brand-new, state-of-the-art sports venue has to offer.

Rolling out recently caught up with Jackson to gain insight into what it’s like to be a powerful woman in an industry traditionally dominated by men.

As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpower to be?  

Often times, I am the only Black woman in many spaces in my career. Because of that, my superpower is having the ability to maintain my authenticity and staying true to who I am while seamlessly flowing through cultures. I would tell anyone … you will always get the same Joi no matter where I am.

What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell a much younger, more eager Joi to relax. I have always been the anxious type and wanted everything to go my way and happen on my time. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that things will always happen in due time and will definitely happen to those people that stay the course.

What are your thoughts on taking a risk?

Take it! If not now, then when? We only have one life, and if you don’t take risks you may not ever know if you can do it. I started my own business (ENJOI Concierge Group) in 2014. While I am not in business anymore, had I never taken that risk, I would not know what that hustle is like.

What are three success habits you implement in your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity and peace of mind?

[I] read daily affirmations, pray and take lots of baths.

As a successful woman in business, what is your proudest achievement?

[My proudest achievement] is orchestrating all the food and beverage sales for Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes–Benz Stadium.

Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?

My mother. My mother was amazing. She was the epitome of a boss babe. Unfortunately, she passed away from colon cancer in September 2014. One of the main reasons I work so hard is her. She knew my passion was to one day work in sports and entertainment, and now that I’m fulfilling my dream, I only hope she is looking down and smiling.

 

 

Dejanee Callahan

My name is DeJanee Callahan and I am entertainment journalist attending Clark Atlanta University,

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