Julienne Smith, Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Julienne Smith, SVP of Real Estate and Development, Hyatt Hotels Corp.

It’s a miracle that Julienne Smith, the SVP of real estate and development for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, not only has the time to do her job, but acquit herself so well within the position. She’s a wife, a mother, a mainstay within her yoga community, on her homeowners association board and volunteers in the playroom of a local children’s hospital. “And that was just this week,” she wryly said. While all the activity can sometimes overwhelm Smith, to hear it from her, she’d not want it any other way. “It is a bit of a self–centered reaction,” she continued. “But if I get out of myself and think about others genuinely, I don’t feel overwhelmed. My balance comes from making myself useful to others and that starts with taking care of myself first. The airplane instruction of ‘put your mask on before putting it on someone else’ is 100-percent true.” Smith has certainly showed composure and vigor in her 12 years at Hyatt, having been integral in literally writing the book on franchising at the Chicago-headquartered company. Hyatt didn’t broadly franchise before 2005, but Smith helped launch Hyatt’s select-service brands, laying the groundwork for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House. “We started at zero and a PowerPoint deck,” she said. Today, there are more than 350 Hyatt-branded select-service properties worldwide. How she did it? “It’s about the details, getting into the weeds, in the trenches,” she said. “It’s about rolling up your sleeves and being authentic. That drives hotel development.”

Julienne Smith, Hyatt Hotels Corp.

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