International Executive for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Visits MSU Campus – Eli Broad College of Business _ Michigan State University
International Executive for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Visits MSU Campus
Students in the School of Hospitality Business received an international education on September 15 and 16 when Alumnus Chuck Abbott (BA Hospitality Business ’79) returned to campus to speak in three classes and conduct an information session with select graduate and undergraduate students.
Chuck, who returns often to his alma mater as a Visiting Leader, is regional vice president – South East Asia for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and is managing director of the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel. His visit was coordinated by the Student and Industry Resource Center (SIRC), the School’s career and placement services office, led by Ms. Authella Collins Hawks.
“Starwood is a strategic industry partner to our School,” says Ms. Hawks, who notes that Starwood provides a generous scholarship each year and hires School interns and graduates.
With over 30 years of international experience in the hotel industry in the region, Chuck is currently responsible for the operation of all Starwood properties in South East Asia (30 hotels and resorts, with 23 “in the pipeline”). He leads the development of Starwood’s brands in this rapidly expanding region. Chuck actually started his career with Starwood in 1979 soon after graduation, and has since held various management positions across the United States, Korea, China, and Malaysia. Prior to his current appointment, he was the vice president of operations for the 4,067-room Sheraton Macao Hotel, as well as the rooms and residences of the St. Regis Hotel, Macao.
In addition to his career-related responsibilities, Chuck has also been very active in the communities in which he has lived. He is affiliated with local organizations such as the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Guam, the Work Force Investment Act, and many more. Chuck was recognized as one of the Top Ten figures in the China hospitality industry in 2003, and as one of the influential community leaders in the Pudong New Development Area in 2007.
While on campus, Chuck was the featured speaker in Dr. JaeMin Cha’s HB 415 – Quality in Hospitality Business and in Dr. SeungHyun (James) Kim’s HB 486 – Advanced Marketing and HB 375 – Hospitality Marketing courses. The students in Dr. Kim’s HB 885 – Hospitality Business Research, as well as other student leaders, met informally with Chuck on Tuesday evening, September 16.
“Chuck is an expert on the global nature of our industry, whether we’re talking about operations, management, or development,” says Dr. Kim. “Our students are very fortunate to have alumni leaders such as Chuck who come back to help prepare them for their international hospitality business careers.”