2020 Hall of Fame Inductee,
School of Hospitality Business Management
Jan Hazelton, Vice President of Development—Europe and the Americas
Jan Hazelton (’83 H&RA) served as the Distinguished Burtenshaw Lecturer in 2020 and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.
Read her full bio.
What was your most positive or transformational career experience as an industry leader and why?
The most transformational and positive career experience for me was the opportunity to move to London. This opportunity presented itself when I was a banker at Credit Lyonnais in New York. My boss at the time wanted me to move to London to start up a dedicated hotel lending practice. With the Credit Lyonnais headquarters located in France, the idea was to start up a Europe—wide focus for hotel lending, liaising with my colleagues in Paris, as they had a strong practice within France. We were able to seek out new business through western Europe and provide hotel financing to our American clientele expanding into the UK and Europe.
How has the School of Hospitality Business Management impacted your industry?
The hospitality school provides a top education and knowledge of practices within the hospitality sector. The hotel and restaurant administration program helped me gain important skills that transferred to the food and beverage industry where I worked as a student and completed an internship with a restaurant. Dr. Terry Umbreit taught feasibility, which was my favorite class. During my career, I spent four years writing feasibility reports for various markets in the United States and Austria. The school’s industry network forms a career pipeline for students who will go on to impact the industry as business leaders and owners.
What advice would you give to hospitality students?
- Take risks! Don’t be afraid of change. If you don’t like something, you can always change again, but you gain valuable experience by trying something new.
- Live abroad—it opens your mind like nothing else.
- Never burn bridges—life is long; a career path is windy.
- Network—don’t ever underestimate the power of your network. You never know where it will lead you!
- Remember to give back.