ATLANTA—The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, Noble Investment Group and Georgia State University revealed that Sara Blakely, founder/CEO of Spanx, will join Noble CEO Mit Shah for the seventh annual Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series on the main stage at the 2020 Hunter Hotel Investment Conference on March 20th held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
Blakely was selected as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the world and Forbes named her the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world. In support of her mission to empower women, she created the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation and she signed The Giving Pledge committing to donate half of her wealth to charity. Today, Blakely still owns 100% of the company and has never taken outside investment.
“Sara’s journey is one of vision and grit strengthened by her commitment to family and community and emboldened by her boundless generosity,” said Shah. “Her story will serve as an inspiration to all, but particularly to our industry’s women leaders and our next generation of hospitality entrepreneurs and professionals.”
The Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series was established and endowed at Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality, in the Robinson College of Business, in honor of Dr. Bharat Shah, a renowned leader and philanthropist. Dr. Shah, an immigrant to the United States, founded the series to share the intimate and diverse personal journeys of icons whose stories of struggle, perseverance, commitment and faith have led them to achieve the American dream.
“Our goal as a conference is to provide sessions and speakers who are informative, inspirational and who provide valuable insights not found anywhere else,” said Lee Hunter, conference chair. “Sara Blakely exemplifies all of these, and we are grateful she is going to share her remarkable journey with us. We remain honored to host this incredibly significant speaker series and thank Mit and the Noble team for their leadership and dedication to our industry.”
Over the years, Shah has brought thousands in attendance and a worldwide viewing audience into the living room for candid conversations with highly admired leaders including Chris Nassetta, president/CEO of Hilton; Arne Sorenson, president/CEO of Marriott International; Tom Baltimore, chairman, president/CEO of Park Hotels & Resorts Inc.; Mark Hoplamazian, president/CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corp.; Mark Elliott, CEO of Hodges Ward Elliott; and his father, Bharat Shah, in the inaugural leadership speaker series. The Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series is open to industry participants and Georgia State University students who hold tickets for the Hunter conference.