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MBAs on the Move

Pastry Chef Turned Non-Profit Executive Now Influences Hospitality Sector

Adrienne Weil, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Business Development – American Hotel & Lodging Association

Alumna of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (MBA, 2011) and Brown University (BA, 2005: International Relations)

Adrienne Weil has always loved food. At age 14, she became an apprentice at a local bakery as a pastry chef, working there until she left home to attend Brown University. She studied liberal arts, which provided her with critical thinking and writing skills that have been vital to her career path. Her exposure to business began when she worked at the Advisory Board as a hospital operations consultant, and an increased awareness of health began to merge with her passion for food. Wanting to fine tune her business skills, Adrienne went to Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business for an MBA. Executive roles at the National Restaurant Association and Partnership for a Healthier America followed. Knowing that the current generation of young people “is the first generation of kids that is going to have a shorter lifespan than their parents” has emboldened Adrienne’s dedication to improve food quality and encourage healthier lifestyles. Now at the American Hotel & Lodging Association as vice president of strategic partnerships and business development, Adrienne is using her not-for-profit leadership chops to advocate for the hospitality industry. At AHLA, Adrienne builds upon the missions of previous organizations she worked for and continues a personal passion, which is to care for other people.

Word(s) that describe her: Connector, authentic, ambitious, purposeful, strategic
Book recommendation: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. A very moving memoir by an incredibly eloquent writer and a reminder that time is not infinite.
Business lessons: My dad used to say, “Just because something comes easy to you doesn’t mean it comes easy to everyone else.” Really capitalizing on one’s strengths is one of the best ways to get ahead. In making career decisions, I think about what I like to do every day, what my best skills are, and how I put those to use in a way that is meaningful for me.
Song that makes her turn up the volume: “Let’s Go Surfing” by The Drums
Personal time: In addition to having two daughters, I love to cook and bake, do Zumba, and lose myself in a book.
Career blunder: In hiring, go with your gut. I ended up settling once for someone who wasn’t a perfect fit and it didn’t work out. It’s better to wait until you have the right candidate for a role.

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