These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josh Lesnick was recently hired as president and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as president and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels?
What I look forward to most is having the opportunity to work with the incredibly passionate and highly respected teams at both Associated Luxury Hotels International and Worldhotels. With all the talent and successful foundations that exist, it is going to be very exciting to create new services value for our unmatched portfolio of independent luxury hotels and our key accounts.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
What attracted me most to this role was the opportunity to tap into the range of experiences I have been fortunate to gain working on the brand side for 25 years and listening to the challenges, needs and frustrations of owners. We truly believe there is a more sensible, flexible, and high-value soft brand offering for luxury independent hotels and resorts that will allow them to remain independent and not have to sign long-term contracts that are hard to justify. That is our mission—to empower independence and truly be a partner with our member hotels and resorts.
3. How did you get into the industry?
I went to Cornell University initially to become a biomedical engineer. One year in, I realized that was definitely not for me and took a few courses in the hotel school. I was hooked immediately and transferred. Here I am 30 years later working in a field that is my absolute passion. There is no industry that is more fun and exciting to work in. We get to sell and deliver once-in-a-lifetime memorable experiences.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
We want to create a challenger company that bucks the current brand and soft brand models. Our vision is to build a company and culture that is dedicated to serving our luxury member hotels by delivering real value so that they can thrive and grow and remain truly independent.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
Without question it is the passion and dedication of the people. When you experience great service it is truly special and people talk about those kinds of moments over and over to their friends, family, and co-workers. Watching an associate, sales person, housekeeper, doorman, health club attendant, or server anticipate a guest’s need and then over-deliver and surprise and delight them is what it is all about. Whenever I need a jolt of motivation, I go to a hotel lobby and just watch the associate and guest interactions.