You can’t miss Jerry Inzerillo after entering a hotel. The energetic and enthusiastic vice president of Forbes Travel Guide always wears a smart suit and a beaming smile, while surrounded by a small crowd of hotel staff. In his New York accent, he alternates between relaying fun anecdotes and giving deserving praise to everyone from bellboys to CEOs. Those around him listen, delighted.
Inzerillo, who is also CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Gate Development Authority, is attracting such attention because he is an industry visionary with a hospitality career spanning more than 50 years. This is why it was elected Corporate Hotelier du Monde by the readers and subscribers of HOTELS magazine in its 41st annual HÃ´telier du monde award.
The Hotelier of the World Award recognizes individuals whose careers and achievements demonstrate a commitment to unparalleled service standards, operational excellence and performance, and creativity in management, while leaving an impressive legacy for the greater good of global hospitality.
Inzerillo’s honor marks the first time in HOTELStale that Hotelier of the World has been awarded to someone who is not the head of a global hotel company, but who has presented all the criteria for success throughout his career. The distinguished distinction was previously awarded to hotel titans such as J. Willard Marriott Jr. of Marriott Hotels; MS Oberoi of Oberoi Hotels and Resorts; Isadore Sharp, founder and president of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; and Horst Schulze of the Ritz-Carlton hotels.
âJerry is hospitality,â says Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide. âHis leadership style is known to be one that strengthens the self-esteem of all those around him. He has the wonderful ability to make everyone feel special and he takes the time to recognize each individual’s unique strengths. Jerry knows that the success of any business comes down to the success of its employees who feel valued and appreciated, and he places great importance on people relationships – he is a leader born for hospitality.
Inzerillo made a strong impression from the start with HOTELS editor Jeff Weinstein. âJerry was one of the first hoteliers to contact me about 27 years ago, when I started working at HOTELS“Says Weinstein.” I learned during this reunion just how a special industry it is because of her infectious enthusiasm and understanding that hospitality is such a noble profession. Her positivity has a impact wherever it roams, and it’s no surprise that readers of HOTELS came to understand this about Jerry during his exciting career and elected him as the 2021 HOTELS World Corporate Hotelier.
The title affirms those like Inzerillo, who put service at the center of their professional lives, he says. âHaving started as a bus boy at the age of 13 in 1967 to try and make my own money, I never imagined all those years later that my beloved peers in our global tourism community would bestow this honor on me. most humble for serving, which was quite natural and pleasurable to me as well as a constant source of celebration and affection, âhe says. “This recognition validates that service is noble and further indicates that anyone who devotes their life to service is capable of such honor.”
“To me, this award is less about an individual than anyone who receives little recognition on a daily basis, especially behind the scenes,” says Inzerillo, who made many famous friends (including Cindy Crawford, Nelson Mandela and Sharon Stone ) while a hotelier, but is known to take the time to advise newcomers to the industry. âIt further reinforces the promise that if you serve with all your heart without expectation of reward, recognition will automatically follow one way or another. The realization that our global community has felt to recognize my service is my fondest memory in my 54 year career.
Prior to joining Forbes Travel Guide, where he was CEO from 2014 to 2018 and then Vice President, Inzerillo worked in various leading hotel companies. He was chairman of Kerzner Entertainment Group, where he developed the One & Only brand and Atlantis Resorts, among his other accomplishments there. At Morgans Hotel Group, later renamed Ian Schrager Hotels, he was the founding president and CEO, and he conceptualized and opened Morgans, Royalton and Paramount in New York; the Delano in Miami Beach; and Mondrian in LA In addition, Inzerillo has held executive positions at Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels.
Working in the hospitality industry has sparked a long-standing passion for the industry. âHospitality, by nature, is about being hospitable and welcoming, regardless of culture or creed,â says Inzerillo. âAs an industry and community, we are inclusive, generous, professional and selfless, attributes that are admired and vital even in many polarized societies. No word is more meaningful and thoughtful than âYou’re welcome! “
The onset of the pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard, and some fear it will take a long time for it to fully recover. But Inzerillo remains resolutely optimistic and in solidarity with the industry. “We already have important lessons from COVID that affect travel and hospitality, primarily that for us to be emotionally healthy and happy as individuals and as societies, we need to interact and share,” he said. he declares. âThe trips show that our differences are what make the world unique and should be celebrated. Everyone will want to go out more now and hopefully value our global humanity and environment more – and our noble and resilient innkeepers will be waiting for them. “