Shea Neill is the director of Marketing and Business Development of Morning Squeeze, where she got her start in college as a server and bartender. The breakfast and lunch restaurant has locations in Old Town Scottsdale and Downtown Tempe, with Downtown Phoenix coming soon. Learn about Shea Neill…
Hometown: Montrose, CO
First job: I was a cashier at a pizzeria called Colorado Boy.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: I love to exercise and spend time outdoors. I enjoy hiking, hanging by the pool and writing calligraphy.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment so far has been running a multi-million dollar restaurant in the heart of one of the largest tourist areas in the country. I came up through the ranks, beginning as a server and bartender. Then, I became the assistant manager and shortly after that I took over as the general manager. What started as a part-time job to get me through college quickly became my career, and I love it! I was able to finish my Bachelor’s in Communication at ASU and then jump into the industry head-first. Now, I am the Director of Marketing and Business Development and the passion for the business and the people I get to work with grows every single day.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: The biggest obstacle that I have overcome in my life was being a victim of domestic violence as a young adult. I suffered in silence for a number of years because I was ashamed and embarrassed of what my friends and family would think. The physical, psychological and emotional abuse that I endured made it extremely difficult to be successful in other aspects of my life, such as school and work. Thankfully, with the help and support of my friends and family, I was able to overcome this and start fresh in beautiful Arizona. Going through something like that was extremely difficult, but it also gave me the strength to get through literally anything. Since then, I have begun a career that I love, made lifelong friends and continue to grow into the person I aspire to be.
Someone who inspires you and why: Someone who inspires me on a daily basis is my boss, mentor and close friend Jaryn Oakley. Not only does she have all of the traits and qualities of a great leader, but she’s also one of the best people I know. She is extremely loyal and puts her heart and soul into everything she does. She is one of the most honest and trustworthy people I have ever met. Her enthusiasm and love for her job is infectious and bleeds into everything she does. I truly admire her ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions in the industry and to make rational, level-headed decisions. She has given me so many amazing opportunities over the years, and I am unbelievably grateful. She is such an inspiration to me on both a professional and personal level, and I hope to continue to learn from her for years to come.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: It’s hard! You will make mistakes, big and small. It takes a certain type of person to be in this industry and understand what hospitality truly means. But it is so unbelievably worth it! The feeling I get when customers stop me in the restaurant and tell me what a great experience they’ve had is unmatched. Getting the chance to start someone’s day with a smile, a hot breakfast and great conversation is such a blessing. It makes all of the other challenges you’ll face worth it.
Favorite quote: “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I work out four to five times a week and am always sharing my workouts and progress on my social media….so I think people would be surprised to learn that my diet is literally that of a toddler. French fries, chicken nuggies and pizza are my favorite! I’m also a huge Mac Miller fan and have a tattoo in his remembrance.
What makes someone fabulous: Being themselves. I truly believe that authenticity is the key to being fabulous. Embracing yourself can be a very difficult thing to do, especially in today’s world. I think people who have the ability to accept themselves for who they are are much happier and empowered in their lives. It’s not only important to know and accept who you are, but where you are in your journey, what your journey is and why you’re on that journey. There’s nothing more fabulous than that!