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Women Leaders in STR

This Women’s Day, we are celebrating the women that lead the way towards a more sustainable, more inclusive and continuously thriving industry: the female CEOs, CMOs and founders that make STR run.

Check out our list of 6 women leaders in STR below for some serious #FutureIsFemale vibes and inspiration. We know that there are many more amazing leaders out there, so let us know who we missed!

Amy Hinote - Founder and Editor-in-Chief at VRM Intel Magazine

Amy is the go-to person when it comes to STR news. Armed with industry insight from her previous experience at Homeaway and Kaiser Realty, she founded the VRM Intel Magazine in 2012. It quickly became one of the most reputable publications in the industry and an indispensable resource for all professional vacation rental providers. She’s also behind Vacation Rental Women’s Summit and has previously founded a data company which became Key Data Dashboard.

With over 15 years of experience under her belt, she’s an industry insider, expert and advocate in one. Read her writing at vrmintel.com or follow her on Twitter at @VRMIntel

Vanessa de Souza Lage - Co-founder and CMO at Rentals United, Founder of VrTech Events

Vanessa is one of the most well-known faces in the industry, frequently found sharing her vast knowledge at conferences and events all over the world. She’s the founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Rentals United, a channel manager for vacation rentals, and the founder of VrTech Events (which organizes the Vacation Rental Start-Up Awards and Tech Meet-Ups).

In the industry since 2004, she’s taken an active role in shaping the STR landscape as it is today by empowering new startups and driving greater innovation and diversity. Follow her work at VrTech Events or on twitter at @VSouzaLage.

Merilee Karr - STAA Chairperson and CEO and Founder of Under The Doormat

Merilee is one of the loudest voices advocating for a more professional and sustainable STR. Her luxury home accommodation business UnderTheDoormat has been growing fast since she founded it in 2014. As the chairperson of STAA, she takes an active role in uniting stakeholders across the VR space in the mission to achieve responsible growth. She also often represents the industry in talks with governments and in media outlets like The Telegraph and the BBC.

With a wealth of knowledge on everything STR: from regulations, to PR, to best property management practices, Merilee’s contribution to the industry is invaluable. Follow her work on STAA’s website or on Twitter at @uk_staa.

Margot Schmorak - Co-founder and CEO of Hostfully

Margot entered the vacation rental space in 2015, when she co-founded Hostfully, a property management and guidebook platform that currently services more than 17,000 properties worldwide. With her startup and tech background (she has previously worked at Apple) she brings a new perspective and her much-needed entrepreneurship skills to the industry.

Passionate about advocacy, inclusivity and innovation, Margot is an up-and-coming leader who is bound to make even bigger waves. Read about her work on Hostfully and follow her on twitter at @schmorak.

Louise Birritteri - CEO and Founder of Pikl

Louise is the CEO and Founder of Pikl, a specialist insurance company for the sharing economy. Coming from the insurance world (having previously worked at Co-op, Sainsbury’s Bank and Aviva), she founded Pikl in 2016 after spotting a gap in the market. She decided to use her skills and knowledge to make it easier for short term rental hosts to get insured, and to make the sharing economy as a whole safer. As the STAA Affiliate Members & Research Lead, she takes an active role in pushing for further growth and professionalization of the industry.

At the helm of a rapidly growing company and involved in STR advocacy, Louise continues to make her mark on the future of the industry. Follow her work on Pikl or on twitter at @loubirri.

Jill Mason - CEO and Founder of VRScheduler

Jill is the CEO and Founder of VRScheduler, a vacation rental operations software that makes scheduling and communication with cleaning staff easier and more efficient. In early 2020, when Covid-19 made guests and employees insecure about the safety of STRs, she founded the CleaningCertification program to promote best cleaning practices. The Cleaning Certification offers courses based on the WHO, CDC and Department of Labor recommendations that train housekeeping staff on how to keep themselves and the guests safe and healthy.

In a time that has been extremely challenging for the entire industry, Jill has stepped up and led the industry through change - proving she’s a great leader in and out of crisis. Follow her work on VRScheduler or on Twitter at @VRScheduler.