DIARY: It’s an ill wind that helps no one’s career along

When Marriott Hotels’ PR executive Maria Teresa Torruella left her Puerto Rico homeland for the US two months ago, little did she realise that the reason for her departure was to haunt her through to the Land of Opportunity.

When Marriott Hotels’ PR executive Maria Teresa Torruella left her

Puerto Rico homeland for the US two months ago, little did she realise

that the reason for her departure was to haunt her through to the Land

of Opportunity.



Having experienced countless hurricanes - almost 20 - during her four

years in PR and sales at the San Juan Marriott Resort and Casino,

Torruella said enough was enough and sought to find a way out to further

her career.



So, with the international PR manager’s job up for grabs at Marriott’s

Washington DC headquarters, she jumped at the chance to relocate.



But last week’s Hurricane Floyd, which devasted the Bahamas and parts of

the US east coast, decided to follow her - as Floyd made its way to the

Washington area.



’I just couldn’t believe it,’ says Torruella. ’It was like being back at

home. The reason I left Puerto Rico was to escape the hurricanes. But

having experienced hurricane warnings, alerts, threats and hits, I’ve

kinda become used to it.’



Thankfully for Torruella, the hurricane died down as it headed towards

Washington. But the winds were still strong enough to force the new

recruit to put her crisis communication skills to the test for a planned

Marriott press conference last week.



She cancelled the visit of 20 US journalists and re-jigged events for

the four hapless UK hacks who had already made the transatlantic

journey.



At least the experience of her ’hurricane years’ has been put to good

use.



Every cloud, as they say, has a silver lining.



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