A view of the Renaissance Hotel Nashville building, represented by its executive leadership on Friday. Photo by Mariott

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay State University hosted some of the board members from Renaissance Nashville this past Friday.

For newer students in the College of Business, APSU has expanded its programs to include a concentration in hospitality, given that hospitality is the fasting-growing industry in Tennessee.

This concentration aims to provide a curriculum for administrative and leadership roles in the hospitality industry.

To give students a preview of that industry and what they can expect, Austin Peay welcomed members of Renaissance Nashville, a Mariott-owned hotel and a major hospitality brand in the region, into the Gentry Auditorium of the Kimbrough Building for a lecture and panel that was free and open for all students.

At this panel, the university and Dr. Tim Self hosted the following executive leadership team members: general manager Thomas Boyer; director of sales and marketing Sherry Franklin; director of finance Heidi Austin; director of operations, Tim Cumbo; and human resources manager Sarah Roemer.

Much of the panel was an elongated Q & A session that addressed specific hospitality questions, but it also addressed the broader, and rapidly changing, industry.

The guests from Renaissance Nashville highlighted how the industry has evolved since the COVID-19 pandemic, the details of their positions, the importance of teamwork and relationships, and what the future looks like for hospitality.

Above all, Austin noted that the key to hospitality is simple and that people need to, “Take your time and search for what you really want.”

The rest of the panel agreed, elaborating that if you do what you really want, then you’ll be happy, and, if you’re happy, so are the customers.

For further questions about the hospitality industry and future job opportunities, students are encouraged to reach out to the College of Business and apply with Marriott at https://careers.marriott.com/.