FIU Business Now Magazine
Leading Communications in 35 Countries With a Flair for Languages and Business Expertise

Leading Communications in 35 Countries With a Flair for Languages and Business Expertise

By Joseph A. Mann Jr.

Kerstin Sachl's facility for languages (she speaks five) and drive to build her managerial talents have provided her with an impressive range of international experience in Europe and the Americas. Sachl's business experience includes international toy sales (Safari Ltd, her first U.S. job), office administration (Komatsu Latin America), public relations and communications for luxury automotive (Porsche Latin America and Bentley UK) and hospitality, as well as nonprofits (Partnership for a Drug-Free America). She also founded and ran the Daddy PR agency in Miami while completing the Executive MBA program at FIU Business.

With the majority of her 17-year career spent in PR and communications, "diversity across sectors, while not intentional, is a result of my transferable skills – the various languages I speak and understanding of multiple cultures I bring to the table," Sachl said. That broader understanding of how business functions and connects across industries has enabled her to "develop a unique perspective that someone who is more specialized might not be able to share," she noted.

Currently, Sachl (MBA '16), who speaks German, English, Spanish, French and Brazilian Portuguese, is in charge of all communications and public relations for Marriott International in Latin America and the Caribbean. Managing a team of 12 from the company's regional headquarters in Plantation, Florida, Sachl is responsible for internal, external and crisis communications in 35 countries, plus Puerto Rico. Marriott has more than 300 properties and 21 brands operating in the region.

Born in Ravensburg, in southwestern Germany, Sachl grew up in Nuremberg. She earned a bachelor's degree in languages in Nuremberg and got certified as a translator in English and Spanish. She arrived in the U.S. in the early 1990s. While working, she completed graduate courses in marketing at NYU and earned a hospitality management certificate from Cornell University.

As she pursued coursework in the Executive MBA program at FIU and ran her PR agency, a fellow FIU student who was a Marriott International executive suggested she consider a career at Marriott. She joined the company in 2016 and has been there ever since. A fan of American football, car racing and crime novels, Sachl also loves animals (she has two cats) and volunteers for charitable causes.

Following two years of difficult operations for Marriott due to COVID-19, Sachl expects strong future growth in the region. "Our vision is to grow to 500 hotels, and we have just entered the all-inclusive segment," she said. And, noting that travel restrictions have been lifted for most of the markets she serves, Sachl is optimistic about the wider world's return: "People want to travel – to learn, explore and discover."