Graduate Hotels announced today the appointment of Michele Evans as Executive Vice President of Hospitality for the brand. Evans will be responsible for the strategic support and operational success of all food and beverage programs across the Graduate Hotels portfolio.
“It is an honor to welcome Michele to our Graduate Hotels team as we continue to strengthen and evolve the hospitality experience across our portfolio,” says Kevin Osterhaus, Graduate Hotels President. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role that will drive the next phase of food and beverage for the brand with a meticulous attention to detail and the ability to drive big picture change and innovation.”
Most recently, Evans served as Vice President of Food and Beverage for the luxury hotel and resort collection Auberge Resorts. In this position she oversaw concept development, operations and food and beverage brand strategy for the portfolio’s 28 food and beverage programs across 22 hotels and resorts. Evans began her career in hospitality with James Beard award-winning STARR Restaurants where she spent 15 years of her career progressing from General Manager to Director to Vice President of Operations.
As Vice President at STARR, Evans worked alongside Stephen Starr overseeing the expansion of the New York, Washington D.C., and Florida markets. She played a key role in STARR’s New York portfolio growth including acclaimed concepts Le Coucou, Pastis and La Mercerie. Evans briefly stepped away during her time with STARR for a stint at private workspace and creative gathering space, Neuehouse to serve as Global Director of Operations. At Neuehouse, Evans gained experience in the membership space, focusing on service, concept and member experience. Throughout her career, Evans has developed robust expertise in building one-of-a-kind hospitality experiences with a distinct perspective.
“I’m thrilled to join the Graduate Hotels team and embark upon the exciting opportunity of growing and strengthening a brand through the lens of food and beverage,” says Michele Evans, Graduate Hotels, Executive Vice President of Hospitality. “Graduate offers guests an incredibly memorable hospitality experience, and I hope to add to and amplify this through deepening the point of view of our concepts and signature brands.”
Created for travelers who seek memory-making journeys, Graduate Hotels, owned by Nashville-based Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners, is a thoughtfully crafted collection of hotels that reside in dynamic university-anchored cities across the U.S. and U.K. Each property celebrates and commemorates the optimistic energy of its community, while offering an extended retreat to places that often play host to the best days of our lives. There are currently 32 open and operating properties each of which offer a range of food and beverage offerings. Concepts vary between properties but include Poindexter, the Graduate Hotels all-day café concept; Trophy Room, a full-service restaurant rooted in nostalgia; Graduate Food Hall, a digital food hall concept in partnership with C3; and a partnership with Call Mom on coffee, rooftop and full-service concepts in Seattle, Nashville and Roosevelt Island in New York City.
Graduate Hotels has opened 10 new hotels since spring 2020, including the first two international properties which opened in Oxford and Cambridge, England in summer 2021. Recent U.S. openings include Graduate Roosevelt Island on Roosevelt Island in New York City, NY and Graduate East Lansing in East Lansing, Mich., both in 2021. Graduate Hotels plans to open in Palo Alto in late 2022, with three additional openings by the end of 2023.