Celebrating Black History Month 2024: Takia Brown

February 07, 2024

Compass Group is celebrating Black History Month throughout February. With the theme of Black Futures – African Americans in the Arts, there’s lots to celebrate. Anyone who streams music has experienced the influence and impact of African music. Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, hip-hop, reggae, samba, salsa, and rhumba all have a common ancestor: African music. Takia Brown, HR generalist for Flik Hospitality Group, shares her tastes in music and how it has influenced her.

“I’m very into music,” said Takia. “I used to sing in my granddad’s church when I was younger.” Thanks to her mom, Old School R&B ranks high on Takia’s list – Sade and Marvin Gaye are among her favorites. So is Nina Simone, whose musical style blends gospel with blues, folk and pop. And according to Takia’s Spotify Wrap of the Year, pop is tops – she’s a Swiftie and a fan of Drake.

Takia cites the power of music to tell stories and uplift as what draws her. For example, consider reggae icon Bob Marley’s “No woman No Cry.” Takia believes it’s a song about women’s strength and resilience. “When I’m down and I’m thinking that as a woman, and as a black woman especially, that I can’t move beyond where I am, I listen to that song to reflect and say there’s no need to cry, it’ll be okay,” stated Takia.

While she was initially drawn to the culinary arts in high school, her interests shifted in college, and she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in community studies and civic engagement with a minor in business management. During and after college she worked in foodservice as a server, eventually joining the Compass Group family of businesses.

“I got pulled back to hospitality,” declared Takia. “I had my first opportunity in Baltimore to move from being an hourly associate to a general manager and I’ve been a GM since then.” Before taking her current position as HR generalist for United Airlines Lounges, she spent ten years as general manager for British Airways Lounges in four different states.

Her advice to newcomers to the hospitality industry is as solid as a song lyric: “Have an open mind, continuously make sure you’re speaking to people, putting yourself out there leading projects or helping on a project. I’ve had some of my better successes by just being that person,” shared Takia. “If there’s a down, don’t take it too harsh and don’t give up—persevere. My obstacles have brought me to where I am.”

And that’s something to sing about!