ATLANTA—Officials of Castell Project, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the careers of women professionals in the hospitality industry, named Global Chief Executive Officer of JLL Hotels & Hospitality Gilda Perez-Alvarado the recipient of its second annual Castell Award honoring a woman leader in the hospitality investment arena. The award was presented to Perez-Alvarado at the 2021 Lodging Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona, where she received a piece by artist Brad McCollum personally designed to evoke her heritage, her role as a trailblazer, and her leadership as a champion of women in hospitality real estate.
In her role with JLL, Perez-Alvarado is responsible for investment sales, debt and equity placement, strategic advisory, and asset management across three global regions: Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. She also serves on the Global Advisory Board of Qiddiya, a PIF-funded giga project in Saudi Arabia, serves on the Board of Directors of Sonder, is an active member of IREFAC, and is a member of Cornell School of Hotel Administration Dean’s Advisory Board. Perez-Alvarado is also a two-time recipient of the Jack A. Shaffer Financial Advisor of the year at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit. She remains the only woman to date to receive this award. As a mother, Perez-Alvarado exemplifies the truth that leadership and motherhood strengthen each other.
“With women comprising 70 percent of the tourism and hospitality labor force worldwide, it is imperative that we set up an industry and a workplace that works for women. We have to invest in their education and ensure equal rights. It is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do,” Perez-Alvarado said.
“It is a pleasure to showcase the fabulous powerful women like Gilda now leading the hospitality industry—particularly in real estate and finance,” said Peggy Berg, Castell Project president. “In a field notoriously resistant to change, Gilda’s success shows that companies which develop diverse talent win in the marketplace.”
Award nominations were judged on the following characteristics:
- Change-maker: Leads strategic improvement for their organization.
- Trailblazer: Opens new paths in the industry.
- Champion: Creates opportunities for women.
- Principled Professional: Demonstrates ethical business conduct.