As she bounds down the stairs to the cavernous lobby area of the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Tatiana Lora scans the scene, white folder in hand.
Her long hair pulled back, waist cinched, she is taller than most around her at five feet, 11 inches. She walks confidently toward those she is meeting.
Lora is the public relations manager of the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, a AAA Five Diamond resort, just a few minutes from Miami’s epicenter.
As the public face of the resort, Lora is used to waiting on the press. She suggests places to shoot photos and gives details to the press. But when she became the subject of a story, she blushed a little.
Yet the 26-year-old, who was born in New York to Dominican and Honduran parents, has little reason to be modest.
Less than two years after graduating from Florida International University’s communications program with an emphasis in public relations, and with only a few years of public relations under her belt, she recently started a position that could lead to her becoming a director of public relations, according to her mentor and recruiter, Michelle Payer.
Payer is the area director of public relations for Ritz-Carlton. She hired Lora in late 2008 to work at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale property as a public relations manager. That property is much smaller than the one at Key Biscayne, with only 192 rooms, compared to 450 at Key Biscayne.
But a little more than a year later, Lora was laid off due to the recession and budget cuts.
Lora was hired back into the company at the Key Biscayne property, the largest Ritz-Carlton in South Florida, about a month ago after the person who previously held the job decided to pursue a master’s degree full time.
“I brought her back when the position opened up at Key Biscayne; it was great timing,” Payer said.
On any given day, Lora can be seen responding to requests for information on any of more than 20 current press releases she’s distributing. She also provides public relations for a hotel that recently renovated its rooms, and is home to the nation’s only Tequilier, a person trained in tequila tasting and food paring.
Before working for the Ritz-Carlton, Lora groomed her skills at the Miami Beach boutique firm Get Ink PR. Because the firm was small, she was able to gain experience across the board, even handling national accounts.
“She was instrumental in getting Rosa Mexicana to the South Florida area,” firm owner Ellen Marchman said of the restaurant that is now in Palm Beach and Brickell.
“She was instrumental in getting the company started. She helped me grow,” Marchman said. “She was diligent with clients, trustworthy, obviously good at what she does.”
Payer also described why she hired Lora the first time around at the Fort Lauderdale Ritz-Carlton.
“She had less experience than usually but she had terrific potential and I wanted to invest in that,” Payer said. “Her writing skills were strong, and that is the foundation of a good PR manager. I recognized that she was talented. And we clicked, and that’s something you can’t measure on paper.”
During her short tenure with the Fort Lauderdale property, Lora made her mark. She was nominated to be Ritz-Carlton Leader of the Quarter, and served as chairwoman for the Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale Employee Relations Committee.
“Going above and beyond what is expected shows good customer service,” Lora said. “In PR, you can have fun and be
Photo by Khary Bruyning. Tatiana Lora