Jim joined the faculty of the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University in August 2019 as director of the Hospitality Business Real Estate minor. He retained his position as operating partner with Passionality Group, an investment firm focused on accelerating the growth of early stage hospitality concepts. He is also a board member of Ceterus, Inc., a SaaS enabled accounting and financial reporting services enterprise providing support for small business enterprises, accounting firms and franchisees.
Jim grew up in the hospitality business beside his grandfather and father. Throughout his successful 35-year career he has held numerous executive leadership positions and diverse operating roles including: General Manager, VP Real Estate, SVP Brand Management, SVP Design, Architecture and Construction, SVP Franchise Development and Chief Development Officer. He has led teams across some of the world’s leading hospitality and restaurant companies namely: The Residence Inn Company (prior to its acquisition by Marriott International), Choice Hotels International, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Dine Brands Global.
Jim was mentored by some of the industry’s most inspiring and imaginative leaders and educators, honing his abilities to assess trends, develop strategies, attract talent, build teams, and execute complex initiatives. Jim is recognized as a serial “intrapreneur” having orchestrated the creation and growth of five innovative hospitality brands, led the acquisition or development of real estate assets exceeding $1.0 billion total investment, built service-focused franchisee support systems, successfully completed the delivery of complex renovation and remodel programs and overseen the sale of over 1,000 franchises.
Jim received a bachelor's degree in marketing from Emory University and a master’s degree in hospitality business from Michigan State University. He has been a popular and frequent guest speaker at both universities throughout his career. He is a member of the of the board of directors of the Michigan State University School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association and one of the founding alumni of the Real Estate and Investment Management program at Michigan State University. Jim was recently asked to join the industry advisory council at Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality. He is a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) and is a founding member of both the Extended Stay Lodging Council of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the Atlanta Hospitality Alliance. He has served on the boards of the International Franchise Association, the Atlanta College of Art and Design (now SCAD) and the Sandy Springs Youth Sports Association. Jim is passionate about his family, his friends, cycling, snow skiing, giving back and the future.