Cornell/AH&LA Women in Senior Leadership Panel

Noël Irwin Hentschel, chairman & CEO, AmericanTours International; Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos '85, founder, president, & COO, Flag Luxury Group; Michelle Russo '87, president, HotelAVE

Noël Irwin Hentschel, chairman & CEO, AmericanTours International; Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos '85, founder, president, & COO, Flag Luxury Group; and Michelle Russo '87, president, HotelAVE.

The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) co-presented the second edition of the Cornell/AH&LA Women in Senior Leadership Panel on April 13 at the Willard InterContinental in Washington, D.C. 

Three women known for their strategic planning and forward thinking shared stories of how they got started and have since grown their businesses in the ever-evolving hospitality industry. Their anecdotes and advice shared common themes:

Start with a great idea

Find a niche and fill it: "It's a great time for young entrepreneurs to make their mark with boutique hotels," shared Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos '85, president of Flag Luxury Group, which develops luxury resorts, hotels, and residential real estate.

Consult

"To be an entrepreneur you don't necessarily need to have your own business," advised Michelle Russo '87, president of HotelAVE (Hotel Asset Value Enhancement), who, while setting out to become a hotel owner herself, unintentionally started an advisory practice. With little capital required to start, she was able to develop a client roster before bringing on staff.

Relationships are vital

Noël Irwin Hentschel, chairwoman and CEO of AmericanTours International, stressed that even after nearly forty years in the group travel business, "one of the most important elements then, and still is today, is relationships."

More Spotlights

Kate Henriksen '96

Featured Advisory Board Member: Kate Henriksen '96

Kate B. Henriksen, a veteran RLJ Lodging Trust executive, is senior vice president of investment and portfolio analysis.

Read more »
George P. Johnson, experiential-marketing agency

Marketing breaks down the fourth wall: smashing the barriers between people and brands

By creating unforgettable experiences that turn consumers into brand devotees, George P. Johnson CEO Chris Meyer '87 is reinventing marketing.

Read more »
Support EBV

Support EBV

You can become part of this important effort to support our country’s veterans and to improve the nation’s business climate.

Read more »
HR in Hospitality reception

HR in Hospitality Conference advances Cornell students' education

For fourteen Cornell University students, their trip to attend the annual HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo in Las Vegas was a capstone for their hospitality and labor-related education.

Read more »
CIHLER roundtable on Trump Administration

CIHLER roundtable anticipates changes to labor and employment relations under Trump administration

Prominent lawyers, professors, corporate managers, and union leaders gathered for a CIHLER roundtable on April 24 to discuss the direction of hospitality, labor, and employment relations under the Trump administration.

Read more »
Students present at the Cornell ICSC International Retail Real Estate Case Competition

Second Annual Cornell ICSC International Retail Real Estate Case Competition

We are pleased to announce the Cornell ICSC International Retail Real Estate Competition 2017, hosted jointly with the Center for Real Estate and Finance, to be held May 21 in Las Vegas, NV, during RECon.

Read more »