UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—Jennie deCarrier Benzon, vice president of distinctive franchising brands at Marriott International, has joined the Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) Industry Advisory Board.
As vice president of the brands AC Hotels, Aloft, Element, and Moxy, Benzon is responsible for leading franchise advisory councils, achieving key financial metrics, growth distribution, and product and guest service metrics.
“I am passionate about thought leadership and how it impacts the students of today and tomorrow. I’m excited to play a role in the growth and development of future leaders in the hospitality industry,” Benzon said.
The board invites industry experts to strategically advise SHM on industry trends and guide students who are studying hospitality management. The members are leaders in the field, including vice presidents and senior vice presidents of large companies and executive vice presidents, chief operating officers, and CEOs of smaller companies.
Benzon has a track record of increasing sales, improving quality, exceeding financial projections, and successfully tackling tough projects.
“Jennie has a passion for success through education as evidenced daily in her work with franchisees of Marriott’s most energizing brands today,” said Donna Quadri-Felitti, Marvin Ashner Director of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. “Adding her considerable insights and talents to our group of esteemed industry experts is a tremendous endorsement of our school’s bright future. We are delighted to listen and learn from her.”
Previously, Benzon served as vice president of franchising for the Fairfield Inn and Moxy brands, where she was responsible for working closely with Marriott’s global brand team to continue Fairfield Inn’s rapid growth trajectory and launch the Moxy brand in North America.
Benzon also previously served as vice president of renovations and product integrity for the Americas at Marriott, where she was responsible for creating a Center of Excellence for Product Integrity. She was accountable for strategizing with a cross-brand team to improve both renovation execution and the renovation cost model.
She also created and led an executive leadership board that included the president of Americas at Marriott and several executive vice presidents and senior vice presidents.
Before joining Marriott, Benzon was director of operations at McDonald’s, where she was responsible for $770 million in sales, 110 franchise organizations and 550 franchised restaurants. While there, she developed and oversaw the now famous advertising campaign of “Made For You” for the Northeastern U.S. This involved creating and implementing the operating systems, training programs, tracking and measurement systems, and then rolling out a road tour to introduce it.
In 2002, Benzon was recognized for several years of outstanding performance at McDonald’s by receiving the President’s Award given to the top 1 percent of the McDonald’s global family.
Benzon has a passion for helping women to advance in the workplace. She is a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Network at Marriott. Chartered in 2015, the group is focused on building a pipeline of women leaders through networking, mentoring and professional development. In 2003, she received the Leadership Award from the McDonald’s Women’s Leadership Network.
Benzon graduated from the University of Chicago with a master of science and received her bachelor of arts in psychology from Mount Holyoke College.