Wes Santos ’13

General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Airport

History in Hospitality:
Wes’s hotel back- ground began in high school at a property in Norwalk, Connecticut. His first hotel jobs included waiter, front desk

agent, and shuttle driver. He showed a passion
for the industry and moved up the ladder quickly. Shortly thereafter, Wes became interested in the Food and Beverage aspect of the industry and went on to a Marriott property in Shelton, Connecticut, where he started as banquet captain and eventually became Assistant General Manager. During this time, Wes enrolled in Norwalk Community College and then transferred to the University of New Haven to pursue his bachelor’s. Upon graduation, Wes moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, becoming General Manager of a Marriott property at the age of 24. “When I first got into this industry, I had no idea what my ultimate goal was, but I knew I had a true passion for the industry and wanted to learn as much as I could. I have been very fortunate to work for some really great people who paved the way for

me.” Wes had great success at the Marriott property and, after his first year as a General Manager, won Diamond General Manager of the Year for Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. He was also recognized nationally from AH&LA as the 2012 Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year. In January 2014, Wes was promoted to the Hilton Garden Inn as General Manager and currently resides in Savan- nah, Georgia. LinkedIn has Wes’s complete profile.

UNH-HTM:

“The HTM program definitely helped pave the way for my career. It was great to learn from industry professors and staff who knew the ins and outs of the business. In our business, it is essential

to have not only theory but also practice, and UNH-HTM promoted the importance of this. So many GMs I work with share the same story. Some started bussing tables, others worked at the front desk or in administrative sales positions. My advice to future students? Take advantage of all that the program offers, as the experience you gain will translate in the ‘real world.’ Get involved in an aspect of the industry early in your college career, find an area you are passionate about, get advice from those who have been there, and have a little fun along the way.”

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