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10.4: Journey to Success

  • Page ID
    11109
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    My first job in the US was a one-year internship with Hilton on Hilton Head Island, SC. It was very beneficial to me as I went through the entire hotel operation experience such as front desk, PBX, food and beverage, and accounting. Eventually, that hands-on operations experience became one of my strengths in the finance field.

    • Area Director of Finance, Westin Stonebriar Hotel and Sheraton Stonebriar Hotel, Jan 2019 – Present
    • Director of Finance, Hilton, May 2018 – Jan 2019
    • Sr Assistant Director of Finance, Marriott, June 2015 – May 2018
    • General Manager, Prism Hotels, May 2010 – Nov 2014
    • University of South Carolina, BA Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
    • Hotel Institute, Montreux, Switzerland, BS

     

    The Hospitality industry is a very unique industry. Clubs in particular are a small but robust segment of the industry. I began as a Controller at Wee Burn Country Club, Darien, CT. This was my first foray into the Club world. Since that time, I have worked for a total of three clubs and been involved in the professional organization “HFTP (Hospitality, Finance and Technology Professionals”. The “Club” segment of the hospitality industry is relatively small. Club General Managers, Chefs, Golf Professionals and Auditing Firms, and Financial Professionals get to know each other and quite often move from one Club to another.  Professional reputation is everything in this business. After I left Wee Burn Country Club in CT, I moved back to the Boston area. Both of my positions in Massachusetts were a result of word of mouth. The partner at the auditing firm contacted me and recommended me for the position at Brae Burn Country Club. The former Controller contacted me for my current position. He was retiring and was looking for a successor.

    • Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Weston Golf Club Inc, 2014 – Present
    • Financial Controller/Director of Business Operations, Brae Burn Country Club, InC. Newton, MA 2000 – 2014
    • Chief Financial Officer/ Senior Vice President of Business Operations, American Heart Association, Inc, Framingham, MA 1995 – 2000
    • Southern New Hampshire, University M.S. Judicial Studies/Public Administration 
    • Southern New Hampshire, University Master Certificate Public Administration
    • University of Massachusetts, B.A. Political Science/Business

     

    I was very lucky to have the opportunity to experience different industries in a short period of time. My first job was at a foreign credential valuation company. During that time, I was given an opportunity to work in their sales department. Eventually, I took the skills that I learned at my first job and made the decision to pursue my lifelong passion of working in the hospitality industry. To begin with, my father was a restaurant owner-chef and I grew up cooking with him at home. Having knowledge of sales and a passion for hospitality, I worked at a wholesale seafood company while going to culinary school at the international culinary school in New York. I also worked in a couple of restaurants before deciding that I wanted to work in operations. Having a degree in a foreign language and diverse hospitality experience, I eventually found interest in the hotel sector which has all the aspects of hospitality business operations. It was also an industry where I could fully utilize all the skills and experiences that I learned during previous jobs. In order to acquire further business skills, my next step was to earn a master’s degree in hospitality management, and this is when I decided to go to the master’s program at Boston University School of Hospitality Administrations (SHA). While doing my master’s study, I quickly found interest in revenue management, real estate, and hospitality finance courses to hone my high level operational decision-based analysis skills. During one of my courses, an executive from CHMWarnick, my current employer, made a presentation to our class, where I was able to make a connection with the company. After a one-year internship as an analyst at another asset management company, T.R. ENGEL Group, I secured my current job. I love my job and the amazing team at CHMWarnick. My job is also extremely interesting as I am involved in managing a portfolio of seven hotels. I have also been involved in consulting engagements as our company works very closely with managers and property owners to provide the best solutions to our clients.    

    • Senior Associate, CHMWarnick, LLC, Boston, MA, Jan 2020 – Present
    • Senior Financial Analyst, T.R. ENGEL Group, LLC, Boston, MA, May 2019 – Dec 2019
    • Food and Beverage Management Trainee, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, MA, Sep 2018 –Dec 2018
    • Operations Assistant Manager, Deborah Miller Catering & Events, New York, New York Sep 2017 – May 2018
    • Sales Executive, The Lobster Place, Greater New York City Area, Sep 2016 – Apr 2017 
    • Boston University, Master of Management in Hospitality
    • International Culinary Center, Grand Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts
    • Connecticut College, Bachelor of the Arts, Hispanic Studies, East Asian Studies
    • Peking University, Certificate of Teaching English as a Foreign Language in China (TEFL)

     

    I currently have two or three jobs at any given time. This is a habit I developed in college when I worked as a cook at a country club, and a doorman at the Eliot Hotel in Boston. I always liked to have multiple and diversified income streams to keep me inspired and provide some variety to my work life. This remains true today, as I work full time as the Director of Finance at the Hotel Commonwealth, a 245 room independent luxury hotel in Boston, MA, and part-time as a personal financial planner and investment advisor for young professionals at Leverage Financial Advisory, a firm I founded in early 2019. I have also taught Advanced Accounting and Finance at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration the past couple of years and continue to maintain very strong relationships within the school.

    My first job out of college was as a Financial Analyst in the corporate office of Pyramid Hotel Group in Boston, MA. It was here that I learned about the financial side of the hospitality business as I was tasked with compiling the financial results of a portfolio of nearly 40 hotels on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. I learned and became very comfortable with profit and loss statements, balance sheets, operating ratios, and cash flow statements. But what I also realized is that the hotel business was very similar to my everyday life in that I had a lot of the same expenses. I had utility bills, food bills, phone, and internet bills, needed cleaning supplies and spare sets of sheets and blankets for when friends stayed over, etc. And so, I created my own profit and loss statement that was very similar to what you would see in the hotel business. I began tracking my income and expenses daily, just as I was doing in my job. I continued this activity and expanded upon it as I learned more about accounting and finance in my next job as an Assistant Controller at the Sheraton Colonial Hotel in Wakefield, MA. It was here that I really learned my debits and credits and the extremely important relationship between a company’s balance sheet and profit and loss statement.

    I have now worked at the Hotel Commonwealth for eleven years. It has been a great place to work, with an extraordinary group of talented and passionate people. The last few years I began teaching hospitality accounting and finance at Boston University and started my own financial planning and investment management firm. It is now my goal to meld my two worlds of hospitality and personal finance and share the knowledge, experience, and habits I have acquired with others.

    Current Roles

    • Brain Bond, Director of Finance at the Hotel Commonwealth, Boston, MA, 2012 - Present
    • Brain Bond, Owner, Leverage Financial Advisory (Personal Financial Planning Firm), Boston, MA, 2019 - Present
    • Adjunct Professor, Boston University SHA, Advanced Accounting and Finance, Boston, MA, 2018 - 2019
    • Assistant Controller, Hotel Commonwealth, Boston, MA, 2009 - 2012
    • Assistant Controller, Sheraton Colonial Hotel, Pyramid Hotel Group, Boston, MA, 2009 - 2012
    • Financial Analyst, Pyramid Hotel Group, Corporate Office, Boston, MA, 2008 - 2009
    • Boston University, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Concentration in Finance
    • Boston University, Bachelor of Science, Hospitality Administration
    • Boston University Certificate in Financial Planning

    10.4: Journey to Success is shared under a CC BY-NC license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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