Born into the Business

Kimberly Rowell, EVP, Five Star Group

Kimberly Rowell

What initially inspired you to get into the hospitality business? My father was a commercial airline pilot, and his passion for travel, took my family and I to hotels around the world. As I walked the lobbies and corridors, I became fascinated with every aspect of the operation and never looked back.  You might say I was born into the business.  

Who were some of your mentors or role models, male or female, and what were their most valuable lessons? I was raised in Manhattan and frequently visited the female-owned and operated Helmsley Hotel where Leona Hemsley epitomized the essence of quality and service. Kirk Kinsell, former Loews President & CEO and president, IHG Americas, for his dedication to empowering and educating women in hospitality as well as for the straight-forward, practical career advice that he provided to me and so many others. Finally, Peggy Berg for founding and dedicating herself to The Castell Project, which has paved the way for all of us! 

What’s your outlook for the future with regards to diversity and inclusion within hospitality? The industry is progressing with the addition of leaders such as IHG’s well respected Chief Development Officer, Julienne Smith. In addition, I was recently named as the only female board member of newly announced Extended Stay Lodging Association represented by many of my esteemed male colleagues from every vertical of the Extended Stay segment. A progressive move by Doug Artusio. 

More AAHOACON 2021 Coverage


Most Popular

Dreamscape Hospitality Welcomes Austin Bucholtz As Vice President Of Operational Strategy and Transitions 

Dreamscape Hospitality announced the appointment of Austin Bucholtz as vice president of operational strategy and transitions. He joins the Dreamscape Hospitality team with extensive...

Main Street Hospitality Appoints Williams To CDO, Brand Officer

Main Street Hospitality announced a key appointment to their executive management team with the promotion of Scott Williams as chief development and brand officer....

Red Roof Opens New Property In Stroudsburg, PA

Red Roof announced the opening of the Red Roof Inn Stroudsburg at 100 Park Ave in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Owner 100 Park Ave LLC invested...