Andrew Rubinacci, EVP, Commercial & Revenue Strategy at Aimbridge, will receive the Vanguard Award during HSMAI ROC Americas, June 28, part of HSMAI Commercial Strategy Week in Toronto. Andrew is a seasoned hospitality veteran with over 25 years of experience and considered by many in the industry as one of the foremost revenue management and global distribution experts anywhere. He serves as Chair Elect of the HSMAI Americas Board of Directors and has served on on the boards of HEDNA, Worldres, Open Travel, Roomkey, and the Dedman College of Hospitality at Florida State University.
How did you get your start in the industry?
During my sophomore year of high school, there was a big book about careers, and I stumbled upon hotel manager. Intrigued, I pursued my studies in hotel management and had the opportunity to talk to a regional sales and marketing professional. This encounter led me to develop an interest in marketing, prompting me to pursue a second major in the field. While initially on the operations route, had an informal conversation with a new boss that felt more like an interview. This interaction ultimately led me to venture into revenue management at IHG.
Within IHG, I progressed from revenue management to the role of a General Manager. Subsequently, IHG underwent a transition, being acquired by Bristol. During my time at Bristol, I gained expertise in internet-related activities, particularly e-commerce. As Bristol transformed into Meristar, a precursor to Aimbridge, my skills and experiences caught the attention of IHG, leading to my rehiring. This time, my focus shifted to addressing the challenges of OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) and delving into the realm of distribution, with a particular emphasis on commercial aspects.
How did you get involved with HSMAI?
I became involved with HSMAI through my work in revenue management and distribution at Meristar. I realized there was a lack of opportunities for revenue managers. Consequently, I played a role in establishing the International Revenue Managers Association, which eventually merged with HSMAI. It was during this period that the Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) was initiated.
What has been the guiding philosophy of your career?
When it comes to my guiding philosophy, there are a few principles that have always been integral to my approach. First, I believe in treating people the way I would want to be treated. Making decisions promptly and taking action has also been a key aspect of my work style. Embracing change and viewing it as an opportunity rather than a source of fear is another fundamental belief I hold.
What is your advice for young professionals in the industry?
For aspiring young professionals in the industry, I offer the following advice: work diligently and seize every opportunity that comes your way. Sometimes, opportunities may not be immediately recognizable until you embrace them. I recall a situation where a General Manager requested assistance with drafting bylaws for an employee council. Drawing from my experiences in college organizations, I took the task seriously. Consequently, this commitment led to further opportunities, including being invited to the flagship hotel and eventually meeting with the Vice President, which changed my trajectory.
I love the hospitality industry because it offers a dynamic environment where I continuously learn about diverse places, people, and cultures. I’ve had the opportunity to live abroad and grow my career – I couldn’t imagine pursuing any other career path.