The Journey

After 35 very successful years in the hospitality industry I have hit another major milestone on this awesome journey. 15 years ago, I had a vision to exit the day to day leadership of the hotel industry and create some form of “give-back” role. That initial vision evolved into two areas:

  1. Create a small business that specializes in working with hotel development and management companies who are in the early stages of development and hotel operations and require assistance strategizing and executing in order to properly build-out their organizations and lodging competencies.

  2. Giving back to the young adults of Asheville, NC who need their first big break in life. I am volunteering for the Eliada Home as they create a new workforce development program titled ESTA or Eliada Students Training for Advancement which is a 24 month, education, prevention and employment program that provides targeted youth a career pathway to achieve their personal and professional goals. Asheville has hundreds of young adults in need and we are connecting them with Asheville’s growing hotel community to provide on the job training, internships and careers with ESTA students who have been AH&LA certified in several areas of hospitality.

"I still remember Michaels’s first comment when I introduced myself to him and shared the mission of Eliada. Michael said 'Great, I’m so delighted to meet you. I have been looking for an opportunity to give back to the youth who need it most through the hospitality industry.' A couple weeks later, Michael helped us take our workforce development program to the next level by connecting us to the hospitality industry."

"Today, Eliada has increased its service impact and expanded the overall students served by 300% thanks to the alliance with the local hospitality industry. Eliada’s workforce development program is thriving with the guidance and support Michael provides weekly toward helping our youth build a 21st century skill set through hospitality based curriculums. Hospitality related job shadows, internships and paid apprenticeships, have allowed all of our students to develop a portable skill set that will help them achieve their future personal and professional goals. One youth said after they finished their first job shadow, 'I knew I could do this I just needed a chance'."

Tim Sinatra, President & CEO Eliada Home, Asheville, NC
This journey also includes me being able to spend more time on the seat of my mountain bike hitting the epic trails of Pisgah National Forest just outside of beautiful Asheville, NC. Within Pisgah there is one trail in particular that offers the perfect metaphor for my new enterprise, Pilot Rock Trail. Pilot Rock is considered one of the most challenging climbs in all of Pisgah. That challenge will bring big payoffs on the other side. Join me in business or on a bike ride and together we will take on the big challenges and thoroughly enjoy the ride!!