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MPI Member Spotlight Martha Morales; General Manager of Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace

Martha Morales - Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace

My first hospitality job was game operator at the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino. This is where I fell in love with the hospitality world.

I was infatuated with wearing a suit. I’ve worn one since I was 16 years old. I remember seeing a front desk agent in the employee dining room, and I wanted to be one. I thought, “I want that position, it’s the coolest thing I can think of. You get to meet everyone from around the world, you get to check in everyone and hear their stories, wear a really nice suit.” That’s really where my whole hospitality dream started—in the employee dining room.

I wanted to be a meeting planner. I interviewed to be a catering and convention manager. But at that time, I didn’t have any food and beverage experience. Fortunately, I didn’t get that job.

For two years I was the hotel manager at Caesars Palace and liaison with the meeting and catering and convention manager. I was the face of the hotel and would meet with all of these meeting planners and they would tell me what they wanted and what their vision was of what the check in should look like, what the room should look like, what did they want their VIPs to do. That was one of my favorite positions.

I honed my organizational and planning skills working with the meeting and event industry. At a young age I was working with industry professionals and leaders of prominent organizations who were challenging me every day.

The latest highlight in my career is my promotion to general manager of the first Nobu Hotel inside Caesars Palace and being the youngest general manager in the Nobu collection of hotels.

Ramesh Sadhwani, who was vice president of hotel operations, really groomed me professionally and personally. He helped me make decisions and put plans together, and never took credit. He was the first person to put me in front of people and say, “Martha did that. Martha, you go out there and talk about it, you know this stuff.” I feel like that mentorship really set me apart from other leaders, and I made it one of my missions to do that with my team as well. I want to help them and give them increased responsibilities and make sure that they take the credit for it.

I am most passionate about helping hospitality students. I currently sit on the board of the Epicurean Charitable Foundation, which is an organization that offers scholarships to high school students who wish to pursue hospitality degrees. I also sit on the board of Valley High School’s Hospitality and Tourism Academy. These organizations allow me to mentor young and upcoming hospitality leaders.

The most memorable part of my career with Caesars Entertainment so far is being awarded the Diversity Award in 2016. It wasn’t the award itself; it was hearing my team members tell me why I deserved the award.

I would like to be part of a hotel opening team later in life. That is one piece in my hospitality career that’s missing. Eventually, I would like to work in different hospitality markets around the world.

My advice to young professionals is to have a positive attitude and work hard.

BIO

Martha Morales is general manager of the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace.

Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace
Photo courtesy of Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace


About the Author

Blair Potter
Blair Potter

Blair Potter is managing editor for The Meeting Professional. He likes toys and collects cats (or is it the other way around?).