Michelle Russo, hotelAVE

Michelle Russo, Founder & CEO, hotelAVE

In 2003, Michelle Russo founded Hotel Asset Value Enhancement, and since then she has provided standards for the company to ensure high partner and client satisfaction. It’s a complicated job, but Russo said she stays on top of things by constantly learning from, engaging with and sharing within the company to “pro-act” and not react to situations. “I have found the best way to influence [within the industry] is through data,” Russo said. “[Data] is not emotional… it removes subjectivity. My experience is that data helps create a good partnership to develop and manage the actions to achieve the opportunities.” It should come as no surprise that Russo considers herself a puzzle solver, and finding both new solutions and new problems to solve are the largest driving forces behind her success. On top of that, Russo relishes the opportunity to be a part of a team that has material impact on the value creation for a hotel. If she were to offer any advice to her younger self, and by proxy those starting out in the industry, it would be to find your passion and to create your own franchise value and become known in the space you work in. “They say ‘find your passion and never work another day in your life,’” Russo said. “It took me over 10 years to find my passion.”

Michelle Russo, hotelAVE

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