Student Involvement & Career Center

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Keynote Speaker for 6th Annual Leadership Symposium

Yvonne Lembi-Detert
President and CEO of Personality Hotels

Yvonne Lembi-DetertYvonne Lembi-Detert, President and CEO of Personality Hotels

Recognized as an industry leader in Hospitality and Boutique Hotel Design for over thirty years, Yvonne Lembi-Detert is CEO and President of the chic hotel group, Personality Hotels.

Yvonne established the hospitality industry’s first boutique hotel in San Francisco more than 30 years ago. Her passion, vision and lead-by-example drive has fostered the success of six distinctive Personality Hotels and inspired hotel professionals around the world.

Yvonne actively directs a top-tier team of hospitality professionals that ensure the growth of Personality Hotels. From overseeing the design of each individual property to participating in daily operations, her leadership and commitment has earned Personality Hotels multiple awards, honors and global media features. Balancing equal roles in business management, finance, operations, leadership and even mentorship, Yvonne has grown Personality Hotels from inception to become one of the most influential hospitality organizations in the industry.

A Bay Area native, Yvonne was immersed in the hospitality industry from an early age, and worked on the Hotel Union Square while still attending San Francisco State College. Her first job was to remodel and convert the property from a pre-war hotel into a modern destination of approachable luxury. Inspired by European hospitality, Yvonne fully realized her inherent connection to design and her commitment to hotel service, and came up with a plan to incorporate this passion into a fresh experiential brand.

“It hit me like lightening one day while I was attending a creative interior design seminar,” said Yvonne. “Personality is what the hospitality industry is all about, and that inspiration has driven every aspect of our business.”

Personality Hotels has grown into a collection of six hotels in California; Hotel Diva, Kensington Park Hotel, Hotel Union Square and Steinhart Hotel, located in San Francisco; Mariposa Inn & Suites in Monterey; and Flamingo Resort & Spa in Santa Rosa. Engage Hospitality, Yvonne’s hotel management company, advises and directs other properties and hoteliers nationwide.

“Listening is the key to success and overcoming tribulations. I have worked very hard to create a company where all of us get along like family, working together with the same goals and constructive and upbeat synergy. Honesty, determination and being upfront with my team are the backbone of our ‘Golden Rule,’ and these values and ways of conducting business are what have always driven our success.”

Yvonne’s personal style is injected into all Personality Hotels through her “out of the box” marketing ideas, her distinct approach to design and her “middle of the night” thoughts, that she actually makes come true. Yvonne works closely with her team to bring her inspired visions and passions to fruition.

Despite the success, Yvonne admits, “It is the tough times and challenges that make me feel on top of my game. The male dominated world of my industry is just what it is. I am who I am and very proud that it’s the women of the world who originally invented the career of hospitality in their very own homes.”

The properties in the Personality Hotels group continue to garner awards and to set the standard for dynamic customer service, and Yvonne’s hotels have been featured in major media outlets all over the world.

Yvonne is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Interior Design and is honored on their “Alumni Hot Shots List.” She lives on the Peninsula just south of San Francisco with her husband and two daughters, two dogs, a cat and four chickens. She is a passionate supporter of the San Francisco SPCA and Taproots, and is an avid gardener.

Every year, Personality Hotels donates more than $50,000 in room nights to various non-profit organizations throughout San Francisco. At the beginning of 2013 Yvonne, on behalf of Personality Hotels, committed to partnering with Family House, a charity whose focus is to provide housing for the families of sick children while they receive treatment.

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