Hotelie Inspires New Generation of Hotelies at DDLS

Marco Benvenuti, MMH ’05, co-founder of Duetto, told students attending the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series to embrace what makes them unique. His upbeat, infectious personality kept students engaged, from his spoof video he opened with to his candid Q & A at the end.

Benvenuti, who is also Duetto’s chief analytics and product officer, insisted on being called Marco during his Oct. 14 DDLS presentation. He stressed the importance of individuality in the industry. He encouraged students to step outside of the boxes they feel they should be in and embrace what makes them unique. Marco said his whole life has been about taking chances, and he assured students that it’s OK to do what makes them happy.

Marco talked about his atypical path to entrepreneurship. He came to America from Italy with no idea he wanted to be in the hospitality industry. After a teacher at University of Nevada-Las Vegas encouraged him to pursue a hospitality degree, he found his passion in revenue management. After getting his MMH at Cornell and starting Duetto, he “became an entrepreneur without planning to be an entrepreneur.”

Marco’s uniqueness is evident in the way Duetto operates. He says while most companies hire diverse people, the companies then try to mold their new employees into something different. Duetto hires people from all walks of life and embraces their differences. Marco stressed the importance of being yourself in all aspects of life.

Marco ended his lecture by saying, “Never chase the money; chase happiness. If you chase happiness, money will come.”

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