Officials of She Has a Deal (SHaD) have revealed the six finalist teams selected to advance to the final round of SHaDPitch 2022. The annual hotel investment pitch competition allows teams of early-career, women hospitality students to compete for the prize of $50,000 in hotel deal equity following the conclusion of a virtual, preliminary round of pitching.
The goal of SHaD is to increase the number of women hotel owners and developers, and the organization offers inspiration and education to channel the power of collaboration and mentorship. SHaD creates new pathways to hotel ownership and development by exposing participants to the hard-to-find details needed to successfully source, analyze and close hotel real estate investment deals.
During the preliminary judging round, 10 teams comprised of 20 participants pitched hotel investment acquisition or development projects live on Zoom to a judging panel of top-level hotel business executives, entrepreneurs and investors. The judges evaluated and selected the following six teams, listed in alphabetical order:
- ART LLC: Rebecca DelValle and Alexandra Vendola from the University of New Haven
- ASM Consolidated LLC: Morgan Mason from Purdue University
- L&B Hospitality Consulting: Brylynn Smith and Lauren Graff from San Diego State University
- L&J Investments: Lilian Amirfazli, Lily Payne and Jayln Rowley from Michigan State University
- Lumine Investments: Shanti Huang and Valerie Feng from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
- Quarters & Halves: Yvana Petros, a graduate of George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, and Shannah Reagan, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania
The teams, who started the SHaD process in September 2021, completed more than 30 hours of intensive hotel investment education to learn how to source, evaluate and raise capital for a real hotel deal.
Pitches included new-construction hotels, acquisitions with complete property improvement plans and conversions of hotels in markets ranging from St. Louis and San Diego to Central Florida and South Georgia.
“This year’s group of aspiring women hotel investors and developers brought a fresh, diverse perspective to hotel development and strategy,” said Ravi Patel, judge and CEO, SINA Hospitality. “Their charisma, professionalism and potential to transform the industry shined throughout the competition.”
SHaD founder, Tracy Prigmore of TLTsolutions, said about the virtual competition, “In our third year, I remain inspired and impressed by the amount of work and effort our participants put into their projects. The support of our luminaries and sponsors makes it clear that we have deep support in the industry.”
She added, “Everyone has a role to play when it comes to making change. As the saying goes, ‘It takes a village,’ and we need the entire industry to rally together to accelerate its transformation. When more women are owning and developing hotels, the world will experience the brilliance of these women in hospitality, and the industry will explode with innovation.”
The final pitch competition will take place at the Innovation Gallery at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner April 28-29, which will be followed by an awards and networking luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner. This year, the luncheon will include a conversation with the CEOs of SHaD’s hotel company partners, Geoff Ballotti of Wyndham, Mark Hoplamazian of Hyatt, Elie Malouf of IHG, Chris Nassetta of Hilton and Patrick Pacious of Choice.