November 8, 2018
Scott Pusillo, CRME, is general manager for business development and account management – Eastern North America for Sabre Hospitality Solutions and a member of HSMAI’s Revenue Management Advisory Board:
I really found myself in revenue management in a non-traditional way. My first major was culinary arts; I thought I was going to be a chef. After getting that degree and working for three months in the kitchen, I realized cooking was not how I wanted to spend the rest of my life, and so I made a quick pivot and earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Johnson & Wales University.
After university, I worked for Hyatt for nine years in almost every department in operations, learning the hotel industry in and out. While I was housekeeping manager at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, D.C., the general manager came up to me and said, “You spend more time counting toilet-paper rolls and figuring out how to save money than you do helping the ladies.” He was wise to notice that I was miscast in operations, and offered me the chance to move to the reservations department, where I could put my analytical skills to use and be mentored in this relatively new field called revenue management.
After a couple of years, the director of revenue left on maternity leave and that same general manager suggested that I watch over the position while she was on leave. After a few months, I was offered the opportunity to take on that role permanently, and so began my career in revenue management.
Hyatt was truly the foundation of my career and knowledge; I was taught by great leaders in the company and learned “by the book” skills and strategy that solidified my knowledge base. However, after a few years, I became frustrated of working within the constraints of a brand, my creativity stifled because of the the fences I had to work within.
To broaden my horizons, I went to work for a management company tasked with leading revenue management at an independent hotel in D.C. and later a hotel in Chicago as well. Within a couple of years, I again had the benefit of an astute leader who offered me the opportunity to lead the entire company’s revenue management and ecommerce efforts. As corporate director at Crestline Hotels & Resorts, I was fortunate to lead a team of nearly 25 directors across five major brands and a dozen independent hotels. That was a fantastic role, because I could continue learning from the rigor and structure of brands, while simultaneously being creative and applying my learnings to boutique properties.
Eventually, I decided to expand my career globally in the luxury segment and joined Viceroy Hotel Group to lead the revenue and distribution efforts for their five-star hotels around the world. During my tenure, we made the bold step to merge the revenue and sales disciplines together, and I was promoted to vice president of market strategy. In that role, I was responsible for all aspects of revenue generation in the company, as well as multiyear planning and pro forma development. This position exposed me to the totality of our industry, from acquisition and development to marketing strategy and business nuances in other countries.
After five years with Viceroy, I thought to myself, I’m missing something in my career, but was unsure of what. All the individuals I sought advice from suggested going into the technology sector. After exploring a number of opportunities, I made the decision to join Sabre, specifically in their hospitality solutions division. Now, nearly two years into my time here, what excites me most each day is having the opportunity to bring my expertise in hospitality, distribution, and revenue management, and share that with others to help influence the direction and success of this organization, with an eye toward delivering better service and creating better products for our industry.