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 New Chairman, Seasoned Board Members to Drive New Initiatives in 2019

(McLean, VA, March 25, 2019) The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation today announced a new mission to tackle head-on a compelling, timely issue the hospitality industry is facing: talent and leadership development in sales, marketing, and revenue management. The foundation’s reenergized efforts include an initiative with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring our Heroes, a new partnership to help better qualify interest with Aethos’ respected skill assessment psychometrics, and a joint effort with International CHRIE to help better attract and educate hospitality talent. In addition, a new fundraising campaign has been launched to help support the talent needed to continue driving the industry’s top-line revenue goals – spearheaded by the Foundation’s new chairman, Agnelo Fernandes, chief strategy officer, and executive vice president for California’s Terranea Resort; Honorary Campaign Chair Mike Leven, CEO, Georgia Aquarium; and Campaign Committee Chair Michelle Woodley, president, Preferred Hotels. The Foundation will collaborate industry-wide throughout 2019 to implement initiatives that attract, develop and engage talent in sales, marketing, and revenue management.

“With an industry unemployment rate under four percent and more than 200,000 reported vacancies in sales, marketing, and revenue management positions, we knew we had to act quickly to remedy the industry’s ongoing struggle to attract, develop and engage quality talent,” said Fran Brasseux, president of the HSMAI Foundation. “We are thrilled to be forming new partnerships with industry experts, and to have such a remarkable roster of seasoned leadership on our side, to begin tackling these challenges. With our new military spouse hiring plan in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and our partnerships with Aethos and International CHRIE, we have solid players in place to help us create a sustainable road map to success for the betterment of our industry.”

In January during the Adrian Awards, the Foundation launched an aggressive, industry-wide capital campaign to raise $3 million to develop programming, fund research, build strategic partnerships and develop tools to strengthen the pipeline for sales, marketing and revenue management talent. World-leading augmented hospitality group Accor has stepped up to the plate as the first top-level donor with a commitment to help jumpstart initiatives.

“We’re thrilled to contribute to the Foundation’s efforts and honored to be part of the first military spouse fellowship program launching this summer,” said Jeff Doane, senior vice president, sales & marketing, North & Central America, Accor. “It’s the responsibility of those within the industry to help remedy the workforce crisis. We’re excited to partner with HSMAI to lead this charge in talent recruitment and development and hope that our peers will follow suit.”

Throughout the year, new strategic partners, Hemsworth Communications and Ideas Collide will support the Foundation in public relations, advertising, and marketing efforts to reach target audiences, including veterans, military spouses, professionals seeking second careers and women via informative and interactive outreach.

For more information on the HSMAI Foundation’s initiatives or to get involved, visit

About The HSMAI Foundation

The HSMAI Foundation is a 501 C3 organization established in 1983 to serve as the research and educational arm of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Based in Mclean, VA with an extensive knowledge base and connections across the globe, the Foundation’s mission is to elevate the overall caliber and performance of sales, marketing and revenue management professionals in the global hospitality industry by driving initiatives that will attract new talent, develop emerging talent, and engage existing talent. With the rollout of it’s $3 million capital campaign, partnerships with industry movers and shakers, and a board of seasoned industry professionals, the HSMAI Foundation has a long-term vision and roadmap to accomplish its mission of becoming the industry’s employment brand and to heighten business performance by building excitement around careers in the industry.

Contact: Lindsey Wiegmann / Adrianne Richardson / 954-716-7614

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