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Hospitality Executive Search in Hotel Operations

Bristol Associates’ Hospitality division recruits for senior and executive management operations positions in the hotel industry. Our practice is led by Senior Vice President Kelly Nelson.

Featured Clients

We have completed searches for a wide array of hospitality industry clients including:

  • Interstate Hotels
  • Benchmark Hospitality
  • Sage Hospitality
  • Pyramid
  • Remington
  • Walt Disney Resorts
  • American Express
  • Royal Carribean
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Travel Impressions
  • Tauck Tours
  • Carnival Cruises

Examples of Completed Searches

Our Hospitality Division has placed successful candidates in a variety of key operating positions. Our placements include positions such as President, Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Vice President, Vice President, Managing Director, General Manager, and Room Division Manager. 

Below is a sampling of completed searches.

President – Diversified Hotel Management Company

Our client, located in the Eastern United States, operates a diverse hotel portfolio consisting of over 60 properties with revenues in excess of $160m. Their portfolio includes full service, select service, and historic hotels. Multiple franchise brand affiliations are in place and a number of the hotels are independently branded. We assisted them in their search for a Chief Operating Officer.

Vice President Operations – Lifestyle Hotels

Our client, located in the Northeast, ranks among the top 15 largest hotel owner/operators in the United States. The company launched a new division focused on Lifestyle Hotels. They requested our assistance in their search for a Vice President of Operations. This position is responsible for corporate support of field operations. The successful individual is a dynamic, experienced, motivated, and results driven individual with a proven track record in the management upscale boutique and lifestyle properties.

Corporate Vice President – Food and Beverage

Our client is a publicly traded corporation and one of the largest resort operators in the world.  The company is located in the South.  They are the operator of some of America’s most popular themed resorts.  They retained our executive search firm to manage their search for a Corporate Vice President of Food and Beverage, which could be located at their Corporate Headquarter. The candidate also  reports directly to the company’s President/CEO.


Qualities of a Great Operations Executive

With 50 years of experience placing hotel executives, we know what makes a great leader. Below are some of the qualities and experience we look for:

  • Proven experience and expertise in specific operations disciplines
  • Ability to meet or exceed targets through planning and time management
  • Ability to develop strategies that enhance revenue and control expense
  • Ability to work with business partners to identify, develop, and implement solutions for improved performance
  • Demonstrated track-record of maintaining positive relationships with all stakeholders- including owners, investors, managers, and employees
  • Ability to pay tremendous attention to detail
  • Proven track record of imagination, vision, innovation, and energy

Division Leader

Kelly Nelson

Senior Vice President
Hospitality and Travel
Kelly Nelson joined Bristol Associates in 1995 with initial responsibility for our long standing Hotel Industry Practice. Kelly was instrumental in the development of additional lines of business including Travel, Facilities and Concessions.

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