Stories related to "Hospitality".


This is Working for Me: Arnold Donald, ’80

After Arnold Donald, ’80, retired at 51 from a long and successful career spent largely at agricultural giant Monsanto, he followed his passions: He bought a minor league basketball team. He indulged his love for dancing. And he joined boards, including that of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company. Fast-forward eight years to 2013, and Carnival Corporation’s founders and board were calling him out of retirement to lead a turnaround of the profitable but tarnished brand. Donald hesitated—He was retired! Dancing with the stars!—but he ultimately accepted. “It felt like the right thing to do,” said Donald. “I’d been on the board 13 years. I knew the company, the state of its business, and its strong foundation. It wasn’t like I was walking into failure,” he said. The founders and board chose well: in the five years since Donald took the helm, Carnival Corporation’s stock price has doubled and its market cap has soared 74 percent, to $47 billion—even though, worldwide, there’s only a small number of shipyards capable of building new cruise ships, limiting capacity growth, and ever-changing but ever-present geopolitical hot spots that close popular routes.


Call of the Wild

Patrick Wallace, ’12 (AXP-11), wasn’t quite sure what he was getting into when he and his wife, Pamela Wallace, drove down a long dirt road with miles of forest on either side in the heart of the Nova Scotia wilderness. When they finally emerged at Trout Point Lodge, however, the property was a revelation. “It is this incredible log structure where otherwise there would be nothing,” Wallace said. Around the lodge itself stretched 125 acres of densely forested landscape with only the chirping of birds and the rushing course of the Tusket River to break the silence. “It was an island of luxury in the middle of the wilderness.”


Checking In

The Challenge: FibraHotel (FIHO), a Mexican real estate investment trust (REIT), had good partnerships with local operators and wanted to expand its hotel portfolio with international brands. Previous negotiation attempts with international franchises and hotel operators were not successful because they weren’t willing to negotiate beyond the standard international deal terms and US hotel standards that are generally used internationally. The Strategy: Guillermo Bravo Escobosa joined FIHO following the REIT’s successful initial public offering in 2012. FIHO built a reputation as a solid developer and real estate owner, and it had the capital necessary to secure strong growth in hotels in Mexico. At the same time during which FIHO wanted to grow its hotel portfolio in Mexico, it was looking for a new international partner with whom it could reach an agreement similar to those FIHO had previously negotiated with its local partners—a new international partnership that would better align incentives for both parties. FIHO wanted to find an international partner and develop a deal that was based primarily on a variable fee structure, rather than a standard top-line heavy fee structure deal. Additionally, FIHO wanted its international partner to be willing to “tropicalize” its products to the Mexican market and invest in expanding local operations teams. <br/>


On the Table

Mark A. Leavitt, ’83, the brand-new chief investment officer of New York–based Union Square Hospitality Group, has had a seat at some most-interesting tables. Those in the esteemed restaurants of his Trinity College classmate Danny Meyer are only the latest, including Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, and the Modern. (Union Square Hospitality Group also launched Shake Shack in 2004, as a permanent kiosk that grew out of a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. It is now a separate public company with more than 75 domestic and international locations and a market value of about $1.2 billion.) Before joining USHG, Leavitt for nearly eight years led global technology, media, and telecommunications investment banking at Piper Jaffray. He’s been on the boards of the Harlem Globetrotters, Leap Wireless, TSF Communications, Trinity College, and several radio broadcasters, including Citadel Communications and US Radio. He currently serves as chair of the board of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts, and, since Booth, has been working to grow and partner with companies at varied intersections of entertainment, media, and tech.


A Recipe for Success

Ask P.F. Chang’s CEO Michael Osanloo, ’96, how he defines his role as head of the polished casual restaurant chain, and he’ll tell you: “CEO is ultimately your general manager, but you’re a general manager with some majors. I view my majors as marketing and strategy.” “My background at Booth allows me to ask the tough questions that make a lot of marketers fidget a little bit,” Osanloo said at a recent visit to campus to speak to students. “That’s when you know you’re asking good questions.” Like fellow alumnus Mark Leavitt, ’83, ("On the Table") Osanloo is looking to innovations in technology to enhance diners' experiences. Learn more about what the former Kraft Foods executive had to say to current students during a visit to Gleacher Center. <br/>