Kennesaw State University


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The mission of the Hospitality Management program is to be the preferred source for ethical hospitality business leaders who are adept at making data driven business decisions to optimize revenue and change organizations in positive ways.

Leonard Jackson, Ph.D. - Program Director Melih Madanoglu, Ph.D. - Michael A. Leven Endowed Chair and Professor of Hospitality Jonathan Brown - Lecturer of Hospitality Esther Yi - Lecturer of Hospitality


In the two years since the Michael J. Coles College of business launched its Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Hospitality Management, the program has built an incredible reputation among the Atlanta hospitality industry. Our curriculum is designed alongside the business community to address their talent needs, the faculty is a mix of experienced hospitality professionals and academic researchers, and our students are driven to succeed in one the world’s largest sectors. Kennesaw State’s hospitality management program sets itself apart from the competition by preparing students for the hospitality industry of the 21stcentury and beyond. Our data-driven approach teaches students to make strategic decisions based on key metrics that optimize revenue and improve performance. In addition, the program develops the soft skills needed to provide exceptional customer service. The result is that graduates thrive in a variety of hospitality careers ranging from the front office to the boardroom. A critical factor in the program’s success has been the close involvement of our partners in the hospitality industry. Michael Leven, industry veteran and co-founder of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, made the initial $5 million contribution that made the hospitality management degree possible and continues to support the program with an endowed scholarship awarded each year. The program also partners with major hospitality brands in Atlanta to provide internships and other opportunities for students to gain real-world experience. Growth in the hospitality ​industry continues to outpace most other sectors in the economy. With the continued support of the hospitality community, the dedication of our faculty and staff, and the passion of our students, the hospitality management degree program positions Kennesaw State University as the region’s top provider of hospitality leadership talent.




WELCOME TO HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT AT KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY It’s an exciting time for hospitality management at Kennesaw State University! We officially launched our program in Fall 2020 and, today, we have over 100 students who are on their way to earning their Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in Hospitality Management. Since its launch, we have worked with our key stakeholders, including industry partners, to strengthen our hospitality business curriculum and position our program as the premier source for ethical hospitality business leadership talent in the Southeastern United States. Our Bachelor of Business Administration program focusses on developing students who are grounded in the principles of sustainable hospitality business administration and possess the contextual knowledge and practical skills necessary to optimize revenue and change organizations in positive ways. Students gain a solid hospitality business education combined with focused practical experiences provided by our preferred industry partners. Graduates of our program are prepared to:

Formulate and recommend business decisions based on hospitality industry data analytics and industry trends Develop hospitality revenue management and pricing strategies to optimize revenue and increase stakeholder value Demonstrate effective leadership and managerial skills that foster high performance hospitality work environments Incorporate legal, ethical and sustainability principles into all aspects of hospitality operations and management Design and implement innovative strategies to evaluate and improve service quality and operational performance within hospitality organizations.

Our diverse student body is actively engaged on and off campus, and many of our students are currently employed with our industry partners. Opportunities for student engagement are provided through the Hospitality Leadership Club (HLC), our premier student organization. The HLC facilitates interactions with industry professionals as well as plans and executes value-enhancing activities and initiatives such personal branding workshops, industry excursions and on-campus events. We also connect students with employers early in their academic careers through our leadership development – or LADDER – program. Students also benefit from our highly experienced faculty members who have close ties with the industry and who have held senior positions in the industry’s major segments and are active in research.




With the dedication and imagination of our students, faculty, board members and industry partners, our hospitality management program will continue to make positive impacts on our region’s workforce and will continue to grow from strength to strength. We invite you to visit our beautiful campus, meet our students and faculty members, and learn more about our hospitality management program. There has never been a better time to be a hospitality management major at Kennesaw State University! We look forward to welcoming you! Leonard A. Jackson, Ph.D. M.Acc, M.S., M.B.A., M.S.E. CHAE,CHTP,CHIA,CAHTA,CHRM,CHE Program Director for the Hospitality Degree Program Michael A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship and Hospitality

To ensure that our academic program remains at the leading edge of our field and is responsive to the needs of the industry, we have forged and maintained mutually beneficial strategic relationships with leading industry organizations. These corporate relationships have provided our students with career and mentorship opportunities. Our diverse industry board, which comprises more than 20 hospitality industry executives and owners, has also provided a wide range of career and professional development opportunities for our students.


The Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management is proudly hosted by the Michael A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship, and Hospitality, a school that I have the pleasure of leading. The school is named after the legendary hotelier, Michael Leven, a veteran executive of such well-known brands such as Holiday Inn Express, Las Vegas Sands, and the Georgia Aquarium. He also founded US Franchise Systems and co-founded the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. As a result of these experiences, Leven serves as an exemplar and role model for students in all three degree programs that we offer in the school (management, entrepreneurship, and hospitality management). Hospitality management may be the youngest program in the Leven School but it is also the fastest growing. The program director Dr. Leonard Jackson has done a wonderful job of matching our talented students to the needs of the best brands in the industry, both in Atlanta and the greater Southeastern United States. This report, while reflecting the activities of our program over the last year, also hints at our ambitious but achievable quest for growth through relevance that will see the Leven School emerge as one of the preeminent providers of talent in the hospitality industry. Thank you for joining us on the journey.







Developing Enterprising Hospitality Business Leaders for the Southeastern United States and Beyond TWO YEARS ON

MISSION, VISION, POSITIONING AND BRANDING In our quest to develop enterprising hospitality business leaders, we established the program’s mission, which serves as the beacon for its vision, outcomes, goals, curriculum, and positioning. Our student-centered mission focuses on developing ethical leaders who will create positive change in their organizations, while optimizing organizational resources. We envision our program as the leading source of hospitality leadership talent in the Southeastern United States within five years. Specifically, our program will be known for providing the industry with students who are sound in the fundamental principles of hospitality business leadership and who can add value to organizations by developing and fostering high performance hospitality work environments, improving service quality and operational performance, and leveraging industry data and trends to formulate and recommend ethical business decisions. It was also vital that we establish our program as a distinct brand within the region. As such, we developed and launched several internal and external promotional initiatives and created branded merchandise to generate awareness of our program and build brand equity. A program mapping exercise was conducted to identify gaps between the curriculum, industry needs, and future career opportunities for students. This exercise resulted in the addition of several new courses to the curriculum as program electives that will expose students to other areas of the industry and provide more career opportunities.

Since its launch in the fall of 2020, Kennesaw State University’s hospitality management program has experienced a 529 percent increase in enrollment and today, we have more than 100 students on track to earn their Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management. Such significant growth is the result of several internal and external promotional and recruiting efforts combined with intentions, focused value-enhancing activities and programs driven by the overarching goal to provide the best prepared hospitality business talent for the industry. The hospitality management program is also keenly focused on providing our students with the skillset and opportunities that will create positive and sustainable impacts on their long- term prosperity. We believe it is imperative that our program provides students with a relevant, market-driven curriculum and that it connects them with great jobs while they pursue their degrees and excellent career opportunities once they graduate. Collectively, these objectives ensure that our program continues to develop students who possess a sound operational skillset and the aptitude, attitude, and mindset to advance into strategic or corporate positions. Read on to discover highlights from the hospitality management program’s first two years.



VALUE ENHANCING ACTIVITIES AND INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS The following value-enhancing activities and initiatives were developed and implemented to advance the program’s goal of developing enterprising hospitality leadership talent: CORPORATE RELATIONSHIPS Establishing and maintaining corporate relationships was an important milestone in ensuring that our students can obtain great jobs and start excellent careers. We have been intentional in our selection of corporate partners, as we want to collaborate with companies that are highly reputable and are willing to: Participate in our LADDER program Provide full-time and part-time career opportunities Offer internships and externships Offer career coaching, mentoring, and job-shadowing opportunities Provide relevant resources where necessary to advance our program and support our students We have built strong relationships with more than 10 preferred industry partners and look forward to creating more opportunities for our students.

HOSPITALITY LEADERSHIP CLUB One of our first initiatives was launching the Hospitality Leadership Club. Its purpose is to enhance students’ industry knowledge and leadership skills through industry engagement, guest speakers, training sessions and community involvement. It also provides a forum for hospitality students to meet with each other and industry leaders to expand their professional networks and facilitate career enhancement and development. Since launching, HLC has hosted and participated in 10+ events including personal branding workshops, industry panels, LinkedIn essential workshops and fireside chats with industry professionals. All hospitality majors are strongly encouraged to join the club and compete for leadership roles.

HLC Leaders in action

LEVEN SCHOLARS The Michael A. Leven Scholars award recognizes hospitality management students who are enthusiastic about pursuing careers in the industry and who excel academically. Students who meet predefined criteria are recognized for their dedication to the industry and scholastic achievement by receiving a financial award as a Leven Scholar. We recognized our first Leven Scholars in Fall of 2021.

Dr. Jackson at the Hotel Indigo with Legacy Ventures executives - Forging Strategic Partnerships




LADDER PROGRAM The Leadership training, Acquisition of talent, Development of careers Direct career placement, Early career start and Recruitment program is a leadership development and talent acquisition initiative designed to connect our students with preferred hospitality employers early in their academic journey. The program includes several key components:

EVENING WITH THE GENERAL MANAGER: The Evening with the GM program allows seniors to meet with general managers and their executive teams at various hotels throughout the Atlanta market. The program allows small groups of students to interact with executive teams, discuss career strategies, and learn valuable tips for success. CORPORATE COURSE COLLABORATIONS: This program allows industry experts to collaborate directly with faculty members on course content. The partnership ensures that instructional content is relevant and meets industry standards and expectations. It also allows industry professionals to have planned – rather than ad hoc – visits to classrooms. At the start of each semester, faculty members share course syllabi with industry executives for content review and relevant feedback. The faculty member and the executive then decide when the classroom visit will be and what topics the executive will cover. In addition, in some instances students will visit the executive’s workplace for supervised practical application when relevant to the learning experience. MENTORSHIPS AND JOB SHADOWING: Corporate partners have provided many mentoring and job shadowing opportunities to our students, especially to those unsure about which functional areas they want to explore for their career. COURSE SPONSORSHIPS: We are in the process of collaborating with our partners to start a course sponsorship program where sponsoring organizations will “adopt” a course on a semester-by-semester basis. The business or its agent will collaborate with the instructor to determine guest lecturer needs throughout the semester. Sponsors will also underwrite the cost of textbooks for the course each semester. A course sponsorship program has the potential to create positive impacts in the lives of many students as it will help alleviate their overall textbook costs. The program is in its infancy, and the hospitality program intends to have sponsors for all hospitality management courses.

LADDER event with Omni Hotels hosted at KSU

CORPORATE DAYS: Preferred corporate partners are invited to spend an entire day on campus meeting with and recruiting our students. Corporate days typically start with partners arriving on campus by 10:00 am and setting up information tables in the College’s atrium. Executives spend the next few hours sharing information with students about their companies and open positions. Guests then have a lunch session with selected students. Corporate days culminate with an open question and answer forum in the auditorium. The program successfully launched in Spring 2022 and has been well-received by the industry and students.



Hospitality students attending AAHOA 2021, the first major industry conference post-covid

“Success is not about money, it’s about people.” Words of wisdom from Michael Leven, giving a seminar based on his book “Can’t Do It Yourself”

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS The hospitality program is in the process of incorporating industry-leading hospitality analytics certifications into relevant core classes. While courses already include elements of these certifications, the goal is for all students to receive the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics and the Certification in Advanced Hospitality and Tourism Analytics as part of their coursework. These certifications will undoubtedly enhance our students’ capabilities and open them up to more career opportunities. THE CASTELL PROJECT The CASTELL Project, an initiative focused on advancing opportunities for women to succeed in the hospitality industry, has been an invaluable addition to our program. During the CASTELL Project’s campus visits each semester, students interact with female executives who share career advice and offer valuable insights about the industry.

Hospitality Executives from the CASTELL Project




Hospitality faculty speak with prospective students at the Leven School’s 2022 Welcome Back event

HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY ADVISORY BOARD We are extremely delighted that more than 20 industry executives and owners have joined the hospitality industry board. Our board represents all major segments of the industry and helps ensure that the hospitality management program develops the best talent for the industry. The board’s contributions include providing relevant industry insights, access to resources, employment opportunities and mentorship for our students. DOUBLE OWL PATHWAY Kennesaw State’s Double Owl Pathway option was also added to the hospitality management program. It provides undergraduate hospitality management majors with the opportunity to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree while still completing their undergraduate degree. This option enhances employability by allowing students to reduce the gap between earning their undergraduate and graduate degrees. EARLY SUCCESS STORIES Elise Majetich became the hospitality management program’s first graduate in Spring 2022! A first-generation college student from Chattanooga, Tenn., Majetich graduated with a BBA in Hospitality Management and a minor marketing. She was also the founding president of the Hospitality Leadership

Club and represented the hospitality program at the *AAHOA. Elise was also a recipient of the Coles College Outstanding studrnt award. She recently joined Encore, a global event management firm, as part of its National College Leadership Program. Upon completion of the rotational training program, she will be placed in an Operations leadership role at a luxury hotel property. We are all extremely proud of our program’s ambassador, Elise Majetich! In August 2021, Alana Agcaoili was selected as the recipient of the John Cahill Student Seat at the 2021 CIO Summit, which is sponsored by Hospitality Upgrade and the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals Association. The John Cahill Honorary Seat is awarded to one distinguished student from a selected university or four-year college with a hotel program. Students with great potential in the hotel industry are recommended by their faculty. Agcaoili worked part time at the Hotel Indigo, Atlanta, where she rose to the level of front office manager. She recently joined IHG corporate supply chain department as a procurement specialist for



Jessica Coane (left) and Roger Fleming (right) of the Marriott Atlanta Northwest hotel discuss career strategies with KSU Students

food & beverage and hotel operations. Previous recipients of the John Cahill Student Seat include students from Penn State School of Hospitality Management; the University of Nevada - Las Vegas; the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston; and Boston University School of Hospitality Administration. Two of our students, Faith Affolder and Arman Zarbashi, worked with board member Robert Mandelbaum on the 2022 Trends in the Hotel Industry Report. Our goal is to have our students continue to work on future reports. The hospitality management program at Kennesaw State University has experienced significant success during its first two years, and we believe we are on the right pathway to achieve our goals of providing the industry with exceptional talent and preparing our students for careers that will create positive and sustainable impacts on their long-term prosperity. We are grateful for the support of our industry partners and the University’s administrators for helping us hit these milestones! GREAT DAYS ARE AHEAD FOR HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT AT KSU!

GM Gary Hughes working at the front desk with KSU student Hope LeMaster




I want to express to you my appreciation and excitement regarding the momentum and growth of the Hospitality Management Program at Kennesaw State University. I have wanted to facilitate a relationship between Marriott International and Kennesaw State University for the past 12 years. You can imagine how excited I was when I learned that the University was introducing, and has now established, the Hospitality Management Program at KSU.Having lived in Kennesaw and worked in the Atlanta market for the past 22 years, I have had the opportunity to hire and work with many students and graduates from KSU. To a person, my decisions to hire students from KSU have been positive experiences, with these individuals contributing to both the success of our business and our company culture, which is one of our Core Values as a company. They all possess a certain clarity of focus that suggests extended and successful careers within Hospitality. I am excited to see, under your leadership, this program continue to grow to over I 00 students currently pursuing a degree in hospitality management. Our industry needs passionate, talented individuals who want to grow their careers to become future leaders in hospitality, operations management, channel management, sales, events, and revenue, to name a few. I have found your students to be excellent examples of individuals who possess the desire, insight, and now educational background to be successful leaders of the future for this fun and rewarding industry. I look forward to assisting you, the faculty and students at KSU to explore career opportunities with Marriott International. There has never been a better time to join our industry as our hotels are approaching record revenues and the desire to travel and explore new destinations has never been stronger. Thank you for your vision and leadership. These are exciting times. It is both an honor and a privilege to be associated with Kennesaw State University and the Hospitality Management Program.

Educating and developing the future leaders of the hospitality industry is extremely important. We are fortunate to have programs right in our backyard leading this effort. Kennesaw State University has been a great partner and has played a valuable part in rebuilding our industry. The Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center has had the opportunity to meet many of the students enrolled in the hospitality program. We have even hired a few! One of these students has already excelled and been promoted to the role of front office supervisor. The future of our great industry is bright! If not for programs like KSU’s, we would not be in a position to rebuild as quickly as we have been able to. Our partnership with KSU and Dr. Jackson is one I only see growing more over the next several years.

Ramon Reyes General Manager Omni Atlanta Hotel @CNN Center

Gary Hughes General Manager Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center




The Atlanta Marriott Northwest and the new SpringHill Suites Atlanta Northwest partnered with Kennesaw State’s hospitality program in 2022. This partnership has been tremendously successful for both parties. The hotels have invested time and resources into helping illustrate real workforce experience through hosting an Evening with the General Manager, where students could speak one-on-one with the GM and executive team at the Marriott. Additionally, the hotels hosted a Marriott Northwest Day at KSU, beginning the day with a tradeshow in the common area, allowing all students to interact with the management team from both hotels. The executive team also dropped in on a few classes to answer questions and ended the day with a formal presentation in the auditorium teaching the students about many of the roles within a hotel and participating in a Q&A session. This day-long event was very well received and resulted in approximately 10 hires between both hotels. The students we have hired thus far have been well prepared and a great value-add to our operations. The Marriott and SpringHill Campus is fully invested in the partnership with KSU. The hotels’ leadership team will continue to attend events at KSU, headline guest lectures, and host events for the students at the hotels. This partnership allows students to gain real-life experience and helps them to be well prepared to successfully join the workforce upon graduation. We are very grateful to Dr. Jackson and the leadership at KSU for supporting such a fruitful partnership for both parties.

The Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta continues to be impressed with the caliber of students we’ve had the pleasure of hiring or bringing onboard as interns. Dr. Jackson and the Kennesaw State University Hospitality Management Program do a remarkable job creating realistic expectations for the students in the program and, in doing so, setting them up for success. The students are engaged, hardworking, and have done a phenomenal job connecting with guests and their fellow associates. Omni Hotels and Resorts could not be happier with our Kennesaw State University partnership!

Omar Vega General Manager Omni Hotel @ The Battery Atlanta

Jessica Coane Director of Sales and Marketing Atlanta Mariott NW SpringHill Suites Atlanta NW






Internships and student involvement prepared Elise Majetich for success after college

In Spring 2022 , Elise Majetich became the first Hospitality Management major to graduate from the Coles College of Business. Majetich, who was also named the Hospitality Management program’s outstanding student for 2022, said she has always wanted a career in the hospitality industry. A native of tourism hotspot Chattanooga, Tenn., Majetich prepared for her dream career by completing an internship with Hilton’s Tru/Home2Suites hotels. “They have been open to allowing me to explore what makes up the industry and I’m so thankful for that,” Majetich said about her time with Hilton. “I’ve learned that the hospitality industry is not easy and it takes patience. But, with a passion to serve, there are endless opportunities.” The internship gave Majetich the opportunity to work experience multiple areas of hotel operation including front-of-house operations like front desk management and housekeeping, as well as back-office duties like food and beverage ordering, revenue management, and sales and marketing. In addition to interning with Hilton, she had the opportunity to work with Low Country Catering at the Masters Tournament in March. During her time in the Hospitality Management program, Majetich was a member of the Thrive Scholars program and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, a KSU student ambassador, and the founding president of the Hospitality Leadership Club, a student organization partnering with the Coles College and the business community to extend hospitality skills-building beyond the classroom. Majetich also spoke at the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association’s annual conference and trade show.

Elise at the Tru Hotel in Kennesaw, gaining industry experience while in college

“Her efforts have undoubtedly helped in the growth of the hospitality management program,” said Leonard Jackson, director of Kennesaw State’s Hospitality Management program. “Elise has been a true ambassador for the Coles College and the hospitality management program, and will continue in this role as the program’s first graduate.” As the program’s first graduate and outstanding student, Majetich is ready to take the skills acquired during her time at Kennesaw State to become a leader in the hospitality industry. “It’s so exciting to be the first graduate of my program, and I feel I’ve done the best with it I could,” Majetich said. Majetich has accepted a job with event management company Encore. She entered their management training program in June and, once her training is complete, will assume an operations leadership position at a luxury hotel.



The Hospitality Leadership Club helps students get the most out of their experience in the hospitality management program, including opportunities to network with prominent hospitality industry professionals. Learn more about the exceptional student leaders in the Hospitality Leadership Club and discover what drives their passion to succeed. FACES OF THE FUTURE

My name is Camryn Walsh . I’m a senior at Kennesaw State University majoring in hospitality management. For the longest time I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, switching majors left and right. In Fall of 2021, I decided to take Introduction to Hospitality and absolutely fell in love with the industry from the start. I never felt like I found my way in figuring out my career goals until then. I helped start the Hospitality Leadership Club where I became the treasurer. Now, in my second year, I have become the club’s vice president. I started working at Omni Hotels & Resorts at the CNN Atlanta property as a front desk agent and recently got promoted to a front office supervisor. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made, and I will always be grateful to Dr. Jackson and the people that have helped get me to where I am today and where I’m going tomorrow.




My name is Hope LeMaster . I am a senior at Kennesaw studying hospitality management and am the vice president of events for the Hospitality Leadership Club. Outside of school, I enjoy being outdoors or hanging out with friends, especially finding and trying new coffee shops! I work at the Renaissance Waverly as a guest experience expert, and I absolutely love getting to learn hands on about the world of hospitality!

Hi my name is Faith Affolder . I am a senior at Kennesaw State University majoring in hospitality management. I currently work at Springhill Suites NW as a sales coordinator. Getting this job has been a great experience for me as I was a part of the opening team. My passion and love for hospitality comes from my years in the food industry and from working at Walt Disney World. My goal is to become a passionate and knowledgeable leader in the Hospitality Industry.



Hello, my name is Karis Morris and I am a junior majoring in hospitality management! I am the marketing chair of the Hospitality Leaders Club and have a passion for helping others. I currently work as a guest services agent at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest. Outside of work, I enjoy thrifting, crocheting, and anything creative!

My name is Katrina Brown . I am a senior at Kennesaw State University working towards my Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management. I am the current president of the Hospitality Leadership Club and work as a guest service agent at Springhill Suites Atlanta NW. I enjoy the professional development opportunities available to me at school and work. Outside of that, I also enjoy video games, spending time with my family, and shopping in my free time! katrinabrown135@outlook.com My name is Will Winnie . I am a senior at Kennesaw State University working on my bachelor’s degree in hospitality management with a minor in marketing. I am the treasurer of the Hospitality Leadership Club and will be graduating in Spring 2023. I am currently working as a server for 1885 Grill in Acworth, Ga. In my free time I love hanging out with my puppy Dansby, traveling, and discovering new restaurants.


My name is Kei’Veyon Demery . I am a senior at Kennesaw State University. I’m currently studying business management with a concentration in hospitality management. During Fall 2022 through Spring 2023, I will be serving as chairperson of the Hospitality Leadership Club. I’m currently working as a front desk agent at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in downtown Atlanta. Other than work and school, in my free time I love hanging out with my friends and family and exploring new things.





Barry Bloom President and Chief Operating Officer, Xenia Hotels & Resorts

Jessica Coane Director of Sales and Marketing, Mariott & Springhill Suites

Barry A.N. Bloom, Ph.D. is president and chief operating officer of Xenia Hotels & Resorts, Inc., an NYSE-listed real estate investment trust. Additionally, he currently is an adjunct faculty member at Florida International University. From 2011 to 2013, Bloom served as an associate professor of practice in the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. From 2008 to 2011, Bloom co-founded and was a principal of Abacus Lodging Investors LLC. Previously, he was Executive Vice president of Portfolio Management & Administration with CNL Hotels & Resorts, Inc. And, prior to CNL, he served as Vice President, Investment Management for Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Bloom has also worked for Tishman Hotel & Realty, VMS Realty Partners, and Pannell Kerr Forster (now CBRE Hotels). Bloom received his B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management as well as an MBA from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Hospitality Management from Iowa State University.

Jessica Coane is director of sales & marketing at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest at Galleria and the Springhill Suites Atlanta Northwest. She is responsible for the development and implementation of sales and marketing strategies to generate revenue for the hotel. Coane joined the Marriott in 2019. Previously, she was the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast, the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners and the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center. Coane is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management. She began her hospitality career working front office operations with Walt Disney World Resorts at the Polynesian Resort. After several years in operations, Coane found her passion in sales and has never looked back. She resides in downtown Woodstock, Ga. with her husband and two children.



Andrea Daniels Director of Distribution Strategy, IHG

Amar Doshi Procurement Category Director, Food & Beverage, IHG

Andrea Daniels currently serves as Director of Distribution Strategy for InterContinental Hotels Group and has primary responsibility for strategy, commercial relationships, contract negotiations and business development. She is an experienced head of distribution and intermediary sales strategy leader with more than 17 years of experience working in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. She has extensive knowledge and experience in advertising, tourism & hospitality, relationship & campaign management, third party distribution strategy, online travel agencies, events management, global distribution systems, wholesale strategy, personal branding, digital channels, coaching, personal development, sales & marketing and commercial leadership. Daniels has a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management from Temple University and a master’s degree focused on Global Hospitality Management from the Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business, where she recently served as an adjunct professor in the College of Business. With a passion for community service, Daniels focuses a great deal on giving back to the community through volunteer efforts and helping students with their own personal brands. When she is not busy working, she enjoys traveling, spending quality time with her family and being a student of continuous learning, while experiencing new cultures around the world.

Amar Doshi currently serves as the Food & Beverage Procurement Category Director for InterContinental Hotels Group. IHG is a global hospitality company with 16 brands ranging from Ultra-Premium to Limited-Service properties and a footprint of nearly 6,000 properties globally. Since joining IHG in 2014, Doshi has been responsible for the strategic procurement direction of food & beverage, including all aspects of supply chain and vendor management. He previously managed supply chains and various categories for Dunkin Brands, Arby’s and CarMax. Prior to joining the corporate workforce, Doshi owned and operated quick service restaurants in the Atlanta market for several years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Retailing and Consumer Sciences from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University.



Margarita Gilo Club Manager, Ansley Golf Club

Anish Govan President and CEO, Five Star Group

Margarita A. Gilo, CCM, is the club manager at Ansley Golf Club. Gilo joined Ansley in December of 2018, bringing 20 years of experience in hospitality including 15 years in platinum-level clubs. Gilo began her career at The Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta, where she spent five years gaining valuable industry knowledge. After completing the three- year management training program, she was promoted to operations manager. Gilo then accepted the food and beverage director position at Deerwood Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla. After three-and-a-half years as the clubhouse manager for Isleworth Golf and Club in Orlando, Gilo joined the Ansley family. As a leader, Gilo believes in inspiring people around her by being available, visible, positive and approachable. She believes in interaction and building powerful relationships with her team and with club members. Gilo is a member of the Club Manager Association of America and received her Certified Club Manager designation in 2017. Margarita currently serves on the Georgia CMAA board and is the student development liaison for Georgia. Margarita received a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management concentrating in private club management from Niagara University in Buffalo, N.Y.

Anish Govan is the President & CEO at Five Star. Govan grew up in the hospitality business, bringing a wealth of development, investment, and operations experience along with a passion for the business. Throughout his career, he has built an impressive track record in hotel development and operations. At Five Star, Govan is leading a team of hospitality management professionals who are driving the company’s commitment to successful operations by focusing on top line revenues, guest service, expense control and overall profitability. Govan graduated with a Masters in Global Hospitality Management from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business in July 2014. He pursued an undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Georgia. Anish is committed to making Five Star one of the leading hotel management and development companies in the nation. He was born and raised in Ringgold, Ga. Growing up, he developed a passion for construction after visiting many of his father’s construction sites. In his free time, Govan enjoys spending time and traveling with his friends and family. His favorite travel destination so far has been Spain.



Chris Hardman Director of Governmental Affairs and Membership, Georgial Hotel and Lodging Association

Ankit Govan Vice President, Five Star Group

Chris Hardman serves as the Director of Governmental Affairs & Membership for the Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association representing the state’s lodging industry and is also one of GHLA’s registered lobbyists. GHLA acts as the unified voice for Georgia’s 2,064 hotel and lodging properties. Hardman graduated summa cum laude with a BBA in Hospitality Administration from Georgia State University, where he also earned a Master of Global Hospitality Management degree. Prior to working with GHLA, Hardman was the research associate for Georgia Capitol Associates, advocating on behalf of the hospitality and tourism industry. He also served four years as the member development executive and as a registered lobbyist for the Georgia Restaurant Association, representing one of the state’s largest industries. Hardman was recently included in GSU’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2019. He has volunteered with many organizations, including serving as Governmental Affairs Conference Chair for the international Society of Hotel Associations, sitting on the advisory board for NOSH Talks and the boards of directors of TEAM Georgia and the Georgia Mountain Food Bank, and serving as former chair of the Hospitality Syndicate. Hardman has spent his career devoting his time to creating a better environment for hospitality and tourism businesses in Georgia.

Ankit Govan serves as the Vice President of Investments at Five Star. At a young age, Ankit was exposed to hospitality through his family’s business and quickly developed a passion for the industry. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with his degree in Finance, he completed a Manager in Training (MIT) program with one of the largest hotel operators in North America. During his career, he quickly climbed the corporate ladder, serving as an Operations Manager, Revenue Analyst, Financial Analyst, Asset Manager, and most recently, as a Senior Associate of Finance & Acquisition for a private equity firm. In his current role, Ankit provides Five Star investment opportunities across all commercial real estate asset classes. Ankit was born and raised in Ringgold, GA. Growing up, he was passionate about basketball, cricket, horseback riding, and attending local rodeos. He enjoys traveling with his friends and family, working out, and watching the Georgia Bulldogs play football. In his free time, he loves to spend time with his parents and wants to travel the world. His favorite trip has been during his study abroad to Dublin, Ireland



Gary Hughes General Manager, Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center

David Johnson Director of Finance, Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel

Gary Hughes is the general manager of the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center. He began his career as a front desk agent at the Philadelphia Marriott, City Line Avenue. Hughes has worked in eight states and 14 hotels covering multiple disciplines and brands during his 40-year career with Marriott International. Before his current position, Hughes spent nine years as the regional vice president of the Southeast Group Sales Organization, representing 80 hotels for multiple brands in the Southeast. He and his team were responsible for $270 million in annual sales, predominantly from the group and convention segments. Hughes has held various positions within operations and sales. He is a five-time director of sales and marketing – including for the 1,700-room Atlanta Marriott Marquis – and was the opening director of marketing at the Tampa Marriott Waterstreet. In 2015, he received the Stephen G Marriott Award of Excellence for the Eastern Region. Hughes holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Pennsylvania State University. He and his wife Linda live in Kennesaw, Ga. They have three children and three grandchildren. While away from work, Hughes is an avid golfer, runner and volunteer at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Marietta.

David Johnson is the director of finance at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel in Atlanta. He has been with Marriott for 14 years and has worked at the Memphis Marriott Downtown as well as the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Prior to Marriott, Johnson worked for several hospitality companies, including 15 years with Hilton. Leadership roles that Johnson has held outside of finance and accounting include general manager, director of hotel operations, director of rooms operations, and front office manager. His operations experience enables him to better understand the needs of an operations leader and to tailor financial learning and strategies to meet those needs. Johnson has a strong passion for teaching and motivating others. He utilizes his 40 years of hospitality experience to help others grow. Johnson’s hospitality career started in hotel operations and has spanned multiple disciplines. When not working, Johnson enjoys spending time with his wife of 40 years (Kathy) and his two daughters (Sami & Sarah). He and his family enjoy spending time at the beach and love to explore new beaches for shells!



Katie Line Talent Acquisition Manager, Legacy Venture Hospitality

Daniel Laterza General Manager, Marietta Country Club

Katie Line began her hospitality journey by completing Gwinnett Technical College’s hospitality management program while working front desk at a Hampton Inn. She worked her way up the ranks to become assistant general manager before finding her passion for human resources. Line joined her current company, Legacy Ventures Hotels, in December 2016. Throughout her career with Legacy, she has worked in all five of Legacy’s downtown properties as director of human resources. In 2022 she was promoted to her current role of talent acquisition manager for all 10 properties. Line’s new role is focused on sourcing candidates for primarily management and key positions and building brand recognition for Legacy Ventures Hotels through college recruiting, job fairs, and networking with associations.

Daniel Laterza, CCM, has been the general manager of Marietta Country Club since December 2020. He oversees the $10 million full-service country club, which includes 27 holes of golf, 12 tennis courts, three restaurants, and a pool complex. With 1,100 members, Marietta Country Club is one of the top private clubs in the Atlanta area. Laterza was formerly the assistant general manager of East Lake Golf Club. He oversaw all clubhouse operations including the execution of the Tour Championship. He has more than 16 years of private club management experience and has spent time at Dunwoody Country Club, Green Island Country Club, and Ansley Golf Club. Laterza grew up in Peachtree City and has a degree in business hospitality administration from Georgia State University. He is the Club Management Association of America where he recently served as the president of the Georgia Chapter. He loves spending time with his wife of 11 years, Karyn, and his two boys, Daniel(7) and Matthew(5). He also enjoys CrossFit and the outdoors – biking, hiking, running – and of course, trying new wines and craft beer and checking out new local restaurants! Laterza is passionate about the game of golf and is around a 15 handicap.



Elise Majetich NCLP Trainee, Encore

Robert Mandelbaum Director of Research Information Services, CBRE Hotels Research

A first generation college student from Chattanooga, Tenn., Elise Majetich graduated in Spring 2022 from Kennesaw State with a BBA in Hospitality Management, becoming the program’s first graduate. She also graduated with a minor in marketing. At Kennesaw State, Majetich was the founding president of the Hospitality Leadership Club. She recently joined Encore, a global event management firm, as part of its National College Leadership Program. Upon completion of the rotational training program, Majetich will be placed in an operations leadership role at a luxury hotel property.

Robert Mandelbaum is the director of research information services for CBRE Hotels Research in Atlanta. He oversees research information service, which produces the annual Trends in the Hotel Industry statistical report, and customized financial and operational analyses for client projects. On a quarterly basis, CBRE Hotels produces five- year performance forecasts for six national chain-scales, six national location categories, and 65 major U.S cities using its proprietary Hotel Horizons econometric forecasting model. Mandelbaum began his hospitality industry career with Holiday Inn, Inc. in Memphis, Tenn. In 1983, he began working for Pannell Kerr Forster, where he conducted market and financial feasibility studies and operational analyses for hotel, restaurant, club, and conference center clients. Mandelbaum holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. He serves on the Global Finance Committee, which is a joint American Hotel and Lodging Association and Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals committee responsible for preparing the Uniform System of Accounts for the lodging industry. Mandelbaum was a global president of the Cornell Hotel Society. He frequently writes articles for industry trade publications, hosts guest lecturers at college and university hotel school programs and speaks at industry forums.



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