Alumna finds success in Alabama hotel industry

Alumna Gretchen Scott has found success as a Director of Sales and Marketing in Alabama's hotel industry.
Zachary Araki/ The Lion's Roar 

University alumna Gretchen Scott graduated in 1999 with a degree in applied zoology and is now the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Element Huntsville, a hotel located in Alabama.

Scott enjoyed her time at the university and believes being a Resident Assistant aided in her success.

“I loved going to school at SLU,” said Scott. “SLU provided the best learning environment while I was there. Not only were the classes just the right size to really be able to learn the subject matter, but the instructors and professors were personable and willing to go the extra mile if help was needed. While at SLU, I lived on campus and worked in the residential life department. My role as a Resident Assistant helped lay the foundation for my future in the hotel industry.”   




Scott has built her resume throughout the years by helping numerous companies.

“For the past 17 years, I’ve had a successful career in the hospitality industry working with many local and global companies along the way,” said Scott. 

Along with her successful hotel career, Scott also enjoys industrial photography.

“I also spend some of my free time working on my industrial photography hobby with the goal of having an exhibit in a museum or gallery soon,” said Scott.

Scott got sales experience in the hospitality industry when she began working in New Orleans.

“I began in the hospitality industry in New Orleans at a family-owned business in the lodging division, which had three boutique hotels at the time,” said Scott. “I was able to work my way into a sales role and gain a lot of sales experience in less than a year, and I became hooked.”

Scott has received guidance from family, coworkers and higher-ups throughout the years.

“I’ve had many incredible teachers along my career journey,” said Scott. “Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my parents first for teaching me that having a great work ethic is of the utmost importance. I’ve learned the most about the hospitality industry from former directors and colleagues Harry Traylor, Mark Noyes and Jeff Womack as well as many former Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Inc. Corporate Executives.”

For aspiring business majors, Scott believes it is important to focus on networking and to always be prepared.

“Relationships matter,” said Scott. “People do business with people they know and trust. If you take care of your internal customers, your employees and your external customers, those who buy your product or service from you, your customers will take care of you. Always have a plan. Have a plan to grow when the economy is strong and have a plan to continue to grow and mitigate any loss when the economy is weak.”