The School of Hospitality Business provided an opportunity for four students enrolled in the Hospitality Business Real Estate Investment Management Minor to attend the Dallas Hotel Conference sponsored by Aimbridge Hospitality. MSU alumna, Lynne Roberts, Senior Vice President Development at Aimbridge hosted the professional development program for the students. Attendance at the November 2017 Dallas Hotel Conference continues to grow and attracts a wide range of individuals involved in the hospitality industry. Attendees include consultants, corporate managers, developers, financial analysts, general managers, hotel executives/owners, human resource professionals, in-house counsel, investors, lenders, marketing and branding experts, media, and meeting planners.
The students attended, participated, and networked at various panels and receptions during the conference to discuss hotel industry investment trends. Dr. A.J. Singh, Director of the Hospitality Business Real Estate Investment Management program stated the students were particularly grateful to Aimbridge Hospitality. They appreciate the organizational efforts of this learning experience and tips and advice provided by alumnus Matthew Wechsler (BA ’08), Katie Krieger (BA ’11), and Scott Overcashier (BA ’15), all successful alumni based in Dallas, Texas.
Additionally, the students had the opportunity to visit Aimbridge Hospitality. Aimbridge is the nation’s second largest independent hotel investment and management firm providing management, asset management, development, renovation and consulting services. Organized by Lynne Roberts, the students participated in one-on-one meetings with several senior executives, including the president and CEO, Dave Johnson. They learned about the company’s daily operations, growth plans, and details of their portfolio consisting of over 600 hotels (approximately 3 billion in annual revenue and over 20,000 employees).
The student quotes below encapsulate their thrilling learning experience from the conference:
- “While attending the Dallas Hotel Conference, I was able to ask a ton of questions, further my understanding of the hotel industry, and meet so many industry professionals within it! I’m so grateful that I was given the chance to represent The School of Hospitality Business on this amazing trip! Thank you again for this opportunity!” Morgan Wheeler (BA ’18)
- “Being a sophomore this was my first experience traveling with The School of Hospitality Business and I was able to take away a lot of valuable information. The experience overall introduced me to a ton of professionals which will be valuable contacts for my future and additionally allowed me to grow my knowledge of industry trends. Thank you for this opportunity, I am so grateful to represent The School of Hospitality Business on this trip!” Kennedy White (BA ’20)
- “The Dallas Hotel Conference was an amazing experience that allowed me to meet top professionals in the hospitality industry and hear what they had to say in regards to events and trends in today’s society. I learned how impactful it is to have collaborative events such as a conference that address important factors in the hotel industry. To be able to be a representative for The School of Hospitality Business and The Real Estate Investment Club was truly an honor and I am grateful to be a part of such.” Taylor Joiner (BA ’19)
- “I am truly thankful for The School of Hospitality Business for allowing me the opportunity to represent The School at the Dallas Hotel Conference. During the trip, my fellow REIC members and I were able to learn how the true professionals operate within the hospitality industry. I was able to learn about the major trends, both positive and negative, within the industry, along with listening to insightful opinions from panels on regulation, brands, issues, and more. It is truly powerful to see how our Spartan alumni network is all around the world and being able to connect with them to help each other grow! Thank you for this amazing experience.” Ankur Patel (BA ’19)