It doesn't matter where you start. Just start. There are so many opportunities for growth and inspiration at Evolution Hospitality it's likely you'll find your bliss. Here are some real-life stories of Evolution associates who have entered the world of hospitality with us and experienced great success.Careers The Evo Experience
Kara Nguyen's journey in the hospitality industry began during her high school years, working alongside her passionate and disciplined chef father at a restaurant. Despite the unexpected loss of her father during her senior year, Kara's admiration for the industry led her to pursue a degree in Hospitality Management at Iowa State. During college, Kara started her hotel career as a front desk agent at a limited-service hotel, where she gained hands-on experience in various operations, from breakfast preparation to troubleshooting door locks. After graduating and relocating to the Bay Area, she became a Front Office Manager, overseeing two front desks and an airport shuttle team. Eager to broaden her expertise, Kara transitioned to an accounting coordinator position at the San Mateo Marriott through Evo. With the guidance and support of Sam Sattavorn, she thrived in the role and later embarked on a task force assignment at Villa Florence in San Francisco. Building on her success, Kara assumed the position of Director of Finance at Hotel Adagio, navigating the challenges of the pandemic while also supporting other hotels through task force assignments. In early 2021, she joined the Hotel Citrine Campus as the campus Director of Finance, grateful for the opportunity to be part of the opening team. Throughout her journey with Evo, Kara has been fortunate to work alongside incredible leaders and receive unwavering support every step of the way.
Julie Nguyen's journey in hospitality began at a young age, starting her first job at 16 as a bagger and shopping cart collector at a local Schnucks store. Inspired by her older sister's success in the industry and her parents' involvement in the service sector, Julie pursued a career in hospitality. Joining Evo in July 2019, she has remained in the finance department, taking on various roles that have allowed her to grow and explore different properties. Starting at San Mateo Marriott as a Finance Coordinator, Julie then became part of the opening team at AC Santa Rosa Downtown as a Finance Manager before relocating to Element Santa Clara. She later joined AC Santa Clara and AC Sunnyvale, and currently finds herself working at TETRA. Julie values the advice she has received along the way, particularly the reminder not to take shortcuts. She credits her growth and guidance to mentors such as Sam Sattavorn, Kara Nguyen, and the many General Managers she has had the opportunity to work with. Her favorite guiding principle is to always follow through on commitments, as it builds trust and credibility within the team. Julie finds solace and relaxation by engaging in puzzles, having completed an impressive 2,000-piece puzzle. Offering advice to those early in their careers, she encourages individuals not to hesitate in reaching out for help by picking up the phone. Julie's bold decision to move to California despite a signed lease in Iowa reflects her adventurous spirit and commitment to personal growth.
Justin Landeis has achieved remarkable growth and success in the hospitality industry, starting as a food runner and dishwasher at a turn and burn steakhouse in Mandan, ND, at the age of 17. Inspired by the rising popularity of the Food Network and the mainstream appeal of being a chef, he attended Arizona Culinary Institute after college. Following culinary school, Justin worked at a 4-diamond restaurant, Lon's at The Hermosa Inn, for 1.25 years, and then spent 4 years at a 1000-room downtown property, Sheraton Grand Phoenix, gradually advancing in the culinary field. After some time at Hotel Adeline as the Food and Beverage Manager/F&B Director, Justin recognized his true passion for hotel finances and requested a transfer into that area of operations. Throughout his journey, he has had the privilege of working under exceptional leaders who have enriched his hotel acumen and leadership skills. Notable mentors include April Mosley, Scott Snofsky, Britt Greene, Taylor Murphy, Gus Laliotis, Jon Eyer, David Swank, and Frank Duffy. Justin's advice for beginners in the industry is to enthusiastically embrace opportunities and say "yes" to new challenges.
Moises Ambriz has experienced notable growth and success throughout his career in the hospitality industry. His journey began as a ride operator at Six Flags Magic Mountain during his junior year of high school, where he discovered his passion for working with guests and the general public. After graduating from high school, Moises joined the US Navy, which played a pivotal role in his personal growth and development, instilling in him qualities such as confidence, strength, resilience, discipline, and resourcefulness. Upon leaving the Navy, he initially joined a small Residence Inn, considering it a temporary job until he found his true calling. However, Moises was captivated by the benefits of working in a hotel, particularly the discounted rooms, which led him to apply for a role with Evolution Hospitality. In July 2016, he joined Evo as the General Manager of Springhill Suites Anaheim Resort/Convention Center after a nerve-wracking interview process. Over the years, Moises has had the opportunity to manage various properties within Evo, including Springhill Suites Anaheim Resort, Doubletree Golf Resort in Palm Springs, and Residence Inn Anaheim Resort. Recently, he was promoted to the role of Campus General Manager for both Residence Inn and Springhill Suites. Moises appreciates the genuine and caring nature of the professionals at Evo and values the company's strong culture. He acknowledges the profound impact of his mentors, including Maxine Dee, his former Regional Director of Operations, who emphasized the importance of caring for the team and staying true to one's values. Working under exceptional leaders like Mark Lewis, Bo Patel, and Scott Roby, Moises has evolved into a successful and passionate leader who embodies Evo's culture.
Sammie Chapman's journey in the hospitality industry began at the age of 19 when she joined DoubleTree San Diego Hotel Circle as a Front Desk Agent. Prior to that, her first job involved tutoring and coaching volleyball during her high school years. Sammie initially pursued a Biology major at SDSU with the intention of becoming an Optometrist but soon realized it wasn't the path she wanted to follow. It was during her first year at SDSU that she discovered the Hospitality program and instantly fell in love with the industry. Sammie was drawn to the joy of taking care of guests and working alongside like-minded individuals who shared her passion for hospitality. Joining Evo in 2011, she embarked on a successful career within the company. Sammie's path has encompassed various roles, including Hostess at Applebee's, and then transitioning to DoubleTree Hotel Circle, where she has remained ever since. Throughout her journey, she has received valuable advice, particularly from her mentor Stacy Beagin, who emphasized empowerment and encouraged her to go above and beyond for guests. Sammie values the collaborative spirit embodied by Evo, with her favorite guiding principle being "None of us are as good as all of us." To find moments of pause, she indulges in activities that involve sunshine and fresh air, such as visiting the beach, going on hikes, or taking bike rides. Hot yoga also serves as a means of achieving a complete mental and physical reset. When it comes to advice for those early in their careers, Sammie emphasizes the importance of having fun while working hard and fostering a supportive and enjoyable environment within the team.