Michelle Russo has over 30 years of hands-on experience with hotels, restaurants, resorts, convention centers, real estate, and finance. She has worked on thousands of hotel assets across the United States and, in 2003, founded Hotel Asset Value Enhancement. While Michelle oversees the practice, she is very involved in strategic asset positioning, management contract negotiations, and interacting with senior level brand and management executives on behalf of the portfolio.
Michelle has been named one of the 30 Influential Women in Hospitality by Hotel Management Magazine (October 2017) and one of 20 Women in Lodging by Lodging Magazine (September 2015). hotelAVE is a 100% Women-Owned Business Entity certified through the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE).
Prior to founding hotelAVE, Michelle acted as Vice President – Senior Leisure Analyst, for Deutsche Banc Alex Brown, where she garnered capital markets experience. Michelle also managed a $500M portfolio for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company where she improved the portfolio and achieved 20% cash-on-cash returns.
Michelle is a regular guest lecturer at Cornell University and has appeared on CNBC and CNN to provide commentary on the hospitality and leisure industry. She has also been invited as a speaker at numerous industry conferences.
“I wake up every day excited to make our clients successful and to support our associates in pursuit of that success.”
Affiliations and Certifications
Dean’s Advisory Board for Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration
ULI’s Hotel Council
Marriott’s Distribution Strategy Owner Advisory Committee