Heather Balsley, IHG

Heather Balsley, SVP, Americas Branding & Marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group

At IHG, Heather Balsley leads brand management, loyalty, partnerships, marketing and brand operations for the company’s Americas region, working with IHG’s global brand leadership and Americas functional teams to develop and deliver localized brand strategies. Inspiration and influence, Balsley said, are at the core of her job. “Being in a region that is heavily franchised, influence is essential to how we work and our success working with hotels and owners,” she said. “I measure influence by this simple question: Have we made our guests, operators and owners’ lives better? Each has a different measure of success, but when the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these, we are influencing the industry. And when our decisions are guided by what’s best for guests, operators and owners, influencing is pretty easy because they know we’re trying to drive value for them.” Balsley advises up-and-coming women in the industry to be prepared to constantly listen, learn and adapt. “This industry is deeply complex with many forces at play that change the competitive landscape every day,” she said. “I’ve found that the strongest leaders are those who constantly look to learn what’s new, invest in listening to our guests, customers and owners, and always seek to get better with new solutions and strategies. Also remember to continue to focus on balance. I’ve learned over the years that I am far more productive and creative when I’ve invested in staying healthy and recharging by spending time with my family.”

Heather Balsley, IHG

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