From Military to Hospitality: How This Leader Got Her Start

ATLANTA—While many don’t get their start in the hospitality space, few begin on the battlefield. Here’s one account from a former U.S. Intelligence Officer’s time in the forces, which taught her all she needed to know for a successful career move:

“Looking back, it’s incredible to recall the role I was able to play in providing intelligence during that campaign,” Amanda Chivers, managing principal of Crown Hospitality Consulting, said, reflecting on her involvement in the NATO-led Operation Allied Force in 1999. It’s a role that has proven to shape her successful career in the hospitality industry.

As an Officer in the U.S. Air Force, Chivers was responsible for analyzing data and relaying sensitive intel to the 8AF Commander over the Kosovo operation throughout the 78-day campaign. She walked away from the experience with a renewed sense of determination, refined skills in analysis, as well as a commendation medal for meritorious service.

“That experience offered me a unique skill set and empowered me as I ventured out to pursue a civilian career,” Chivers said. “But it took getting knocked down to encourage me to pave my own way.”

Utilizing the skills gained on the battlefield to benefit clients, Chivers closed more than $1 billion in hotel transactions representing major hotel brands. But in 2014, her career changed course and she found herself looking for work.

“I was in a completely unfamiliar position, I was always working!” Chivers said. “I’d had a job consistently throughout my hospitality career, so this was a real transition for me.”

With the steadfast determination strengthened in the Air Force and, as she says, “a pair of lucky high heels” in hand, Chivers hit the pavement, turning over every possible proverbial stone, seeking out potential opportunities for employment. When door after door closed, she was tapped to take on a project as a consultant. That experience completely turned the tide for Chivers and she realized that for her, success meant building her own kingdom.

Within a matter of months, Crown Hospitality Consulting was born—employing the three commonalities that tie a military campaign to a career in the hospitality industry: service, trust and experience via tactical execution. Now, three years in, Chivers engages her skills in deciphering data, assessing situations and developing tactical strategies to assist her clients, owners and lenders of upscale and luxury hotels and resorts, in improving profitability.

“Fighting for our nation’s freedom is one of my greatest points of pride,” Chivers said. “And I am continually rewarded with the skills and abilities gained through my service, as they have afforded me the opportunity to build a successful career and a successful business.”