Chelsea Story


Chelsea spent over 15 years in luxury & lifestyle hotel operations management and leadership throughout the U.S. She transitioned her operations expertise and combined it with her love of connecting, communicating and building teams to coach and consult in hospitality and start-ups.

BIOTess Cox & Associates LLC, (TC&A) is a mother/daughter led, leadership coaching and consulting firm. Tess is Principal and a Senior Executive Leadership Coach, Consultant, Author and Non-Profit Founder with 30 years of leadership experience. TC&A offers a variety of coaching opportunities, books and online courses to support your leadership development through mindset training, effective processes of communication, decision-making capabilities, and building strong and trusting relationships.

At the age of 4, I committed to being a competitive gymnast, which shaped the following 15+ years of my life.  My first job out of college was to be a part of the opening team for a hip new hotel in Beverly Hills. I was hooked. I truly love being of service to others and I thrive when I’m creating meaningful moments and relationships.

My hotel career was rewarding and it took me from L.A. to NYC to Nashville. But ultimately, I burnt out. So I moved back to my hometown in Southern California and started over, with a commitment to create life from the inside — out. In doing so, I joined forces with my mother, Tess Cox, and have been a part of her team at TC&A ever since. We offer 1:1 executive coaching, team building and culture consulting; where I focus on the hospitality and agribusiness industries. My husband and I welcomed our first baby boy in October of 2020 and we’re having a blast being parents!

What have been your lowest moments? 

A major shaping experience for me was in my early 20’s when I chose to quit gymnastics after my sophomore year of college. Unfortunately, I had a disappointing experience as an athlete and was forced by a poor coaching choice, to train for an event I hadn’t been practicing for years. It ended in a traumatic injury and I was devastated. Yet, in some ways, relieved. I had worked so hard my whole life to achieve this goal, but I had to listen to what my mind and body were telling me. I recovered by being curious with life and my new found freedom. I had a new sense of freedom that I never had before.

Ultimately, that led me to working in restaurants which I really enjoyed and thrived in.  This made the transition to working in hotels pretty seamless. I started succeeding right away, being promoted and worked hard to exceed expectations.

Then, after working New Year’s Eve 2010, I got fired. This experience shook me and really humbled me. But I knew my hotel career wasn’t over. I made a radical change and moved to New York City starting over only with a consulting gig which quickly proved not to be aligned with my future.


So, I got curious again and went back to my foundation of operations where I found my way into another hotel opening, this time on Park Ave, and the rest is history. I became a Hotel Manager by age 29 and a Bed & Breakfast General Manager by 30. In 10 years, I’d worked at 7 hotels, 3 of which I opened and it was non-stop for years. The energy I was exuding was not sustainable and it resulted in extreme burnout. I had to release control and let go of the outcomes.

It was time to get curious again and go inward. I had to start over, this time, from the inside – out.

Based on your experience what challenges do you see women face in areas of leadership

We’re still very much fighting for the basics, like a seat at the table. I think everyone is getting more used to us having a seat but we still have a long way to go. We need to keep speaking up and taking our well-deserved seat.  It’s one thing to be considered and another thing to actually be invited in to have our voices heard.

What disciplines in sport have you adopted and applied to your life?

Being a gymnast laid the foundation for who I am today and continues to support me as I evolve. Gymnastics requires extreme dedication, focus, and trust that your mind and body will work together.  While those attributes were cultivated in the gym; they have served me well as I managed a highly demanding career in the hospitality industry, and now, for the last several years, as an entrepreneur

What leadership principles have led to your success?

I take the 5 C’s of leadership with me everywhere. It’s our foundational methodology at TC&A:

Your Character is your foundation. You take your character with you everywhere you go, so lead with integrity and this will build you the strong base you need to move forward.

Your Competence includes your skill sets. I’m committed to learning and having a growth mindset which will always lead me to the best outcomes. I’m also open to learning new things and new ways of doing things!

Consistency is key to success. I focus on the 1% marginal gains, day after day which gives me sustainable energy. Everything adds up over time.

Creativity builds relationships which is a key to success and sustainability. Investing in good and healthy relationships is a priority.

I’ve cultivated an unwavering Confidence which has been garnered with the first 4 C’s and acts as a protective covering over everything I’ve worked so hard to create.

What challenges do you envision leaders are facing today especially during this challenging time?

I envision the ability to communicate with clarity and efficacy is a challenge. Communication really is an art form and it requires learned and practiced skills. Everyone enters communication from a different place which correlates with their personality preference. This can result in varying outcomes when not executed with self-awareness.

Virtual, text, email, etc. makes it even harder to effectively communicate, especially when the matters are serious and the stakes are high. Energetically being together and feeling connected when communicating can make a huge difference in the outcome based on engagement.

What would you change if anything, in your journey 

I try not to focus my energy on what I could have changed because it’s impossible to go back.  I also see every obstacle or challenge as a lesson I was meant to learn. While certainly not always easy, I’ve learned a lot of powerful lessons and I’m still growing! My main goal every day is to be fully present and make time to plan for the future too. I get excited about what’s next!

What have been your proudest moments?

Marrying my best friend and biggest supporter, Max, which has provided me a foundation to do everything I love.

Having my sweet baby boy in the middle of a pandemic, of course, is a top life highlight.

I’m proud to be an athlete and a hotelier, even though I’m not active as a gymnast or an operator any longer. Those experiences shaped who I am and I’m forever grateful for the drive, motivation and work ethic they instilled.

What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out

Stretch your mind, body and soul every day. You’re choosing to be an entrepreneur, so focus on filling yourself up, in all of the ways. That’s one of the benefits of choosing this path, you are in charge and responsible for your day to day. Also, invest in financial intelligence. You will never regret learning that money is energy and understanding how it can flow to you with abundance and ease.

What’s next for Chelsea

I’m launching a new product with TC&A called The Engagement Blueprint.  The Engagement Blueprint is a valuable on-boarding resource that will enrich your company culture, empower individual employees within their roles and enhance leadership development. The blueprint is designed for organizational leadership, managers, human resources teams and employees. Whether employees have worked together for a period of time or are just entering into the new work space, The Engagement Blueprint will create positive energy, momentum and synergy within your teams.

We have other exciting consulting clients we are working with and we’re focused on continuing to grow our company and support others as they gain self-awareness and increase their communication skills. And, I hope to travel more and support clients all over the world. I’m manifesting a fun adventure for my family that can also incorporate work!

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