NEW YORK, September 27, 2018 – Executive search firm Ward Howell International has appointed Stuart K. Smith as Partner in its Hospitality & Travel Practice; providing services to leaders of the hotel, restaurant and gaming industries. Based in the New York office, Smith joins Ward Howell with more than 20+ years of business and leadership experience, having worked extensively throughout the United States, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa; for industry leading hotel and restaurant operators, developers, private equity firms, government tourism ministries and sovereign wealth funds.
“Stuart’s depth of experience and industry connections will be a major asset to the firm as he helps build our Travel & Hospitality Practice,” said Asad Haider, President – Americas, COO and Member of the Board. “We are delighted to welcome Stuart to our growing and dynamic team as we continue to re-establish our US business.”
Over the past 7 years, Smith has built a practice focused on leadership development and talent acquisition for emerging markets, advising global hospitality groups, developers and Private Equity firms on new market entry strategy. Practice areas include senior-level executive search, mid-management recruitment, market research, business strategy and implementation and compensation consulting. Smith’s consulting and advisory career has included Managing Director roles with American Express Tax and Business Services, Hospitality Development Group and HVS. Earlier in his career, he held executive management roles as hotel General Manager for Hilton, IHG and Starwood Hotels and as an entrepreneur, has developed several awarded restaurants.
As principal sponsor for the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA) for 4 years, Smith was instrumental in extending hospitality services and tourism through education, advocacy, legislation and development and has built the leading human capital resource network across the sub-Saharan continent.
Smith is an alumnus of Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. He is currently serving as a trusted advisor within the Southern Africa Development Community.
“I’m excited to be joining Ward Howell,” said Stuart. “Having the opportunity to help establish a practice, while working alongside colleagues who prioritize client service and diversity as an integral part of the process and ethos, has drawn me to the firm.”