Ama Romaine is the General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer for G6 Hospitality, the parent company for the iconic Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands where she leads the company’s ESG platform, Lighting the Way. She is also responsible for Risk Management and Franchise Administration. In her role, Ama developed and implemented the company’s first compliance program and successfully launched the company’s ESG platform focused on operating responsibly. Immediately prior to joining G6, Ama was the General Counsel & Head of Risk Management at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab where she was also responsible for the Equal Employment Office and served as co-chair of the lab-wide Employee Resource Group and the Inclusion and Diversity Executive Alliance.
Ama was recently elected to serve on the board of the International Franchise Association and she co-founded a non-profit, The Initiative: Advancing the Blue & Black Partnership, which is focused on healing relationships between communities and law enforcement. A firm believer in the importance of strong leadership, Ama previously served two terms as an advisory board member of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Leadership Academy.
What committees/forums have you been involved in?
I served on the WBA Board and the WBA Foundation Board and served on a working moms forum early in my career.
Why did you join the Women’s Bar Association?
Ellen Jakovic was the President of the WBA when I was a junior associate. We worked at the same firm (White & Case) and she made a point of introducing the WBA to all the junior associates. I appreciated the programming and having a space where women were helping other women to thrive in the profession.
What benefits do you get from being a part of the WBA and why do you think others should join?
I love the community of WBA members. Even when I am not an active WBA member, I feel like I am always a part of the WBA family. It is truly an organization that connects, engages, and supports the community of women lawyers in the DC area. I also love the fact that the WBA is intentional about elevating, celebrating and highlighting a diverse cross section of women lawyers.
How has being a parent enhanced your career?
Being a parent has made me more focused and more driven to succeed because I am not working for myself, but to have the resources to provide my children with opportunities to achieve their full potential.
Do you have a mentor/hero?
My mom is one of my mentors because she has an incredibly balanced view of life that enables me to remain grounded. She was also a single parent who worked incredibly hard, sometimes seven days a week, to provide me with opportunities to achieve my goals. I also have many mentors who have guided and supported me throughout my career. Ellen Jakovic was one of my earliest mentors, who gave me advice about life and work and balancing parenthood as a young mom. She was always available when I called and always willing to lend an ear to a up and coming, young lawyer as I was trying to make my way in the legal profession. Over the years, there are numerous women and men who have mentored, and more importantly, sponsored me throughout my career. They all played an instrumental role in my success by offering guidance and support at critical moments throughout my career and life.
What words of advice do you have for women new to the profession?
Lean into your career early and often. Set clear goals for yourself that are directionally accurate but be flexible and open to different possibilities that will help you to achieve your big picture goals. Don’t get too attached to any one path or approach while on your journey and give yourself the space to evolve. And finally, embrace failure, but fail fast and learn from your mistakes. In the words of Nelson Mandela, remember that you don’t lose – you either win or learn.
What is the best advice you have received?
Be intentional about how you show up and make sure that there is congruence between the way you want to be perceived and the way you are showing up.