President & COO
McNeill Hotel Company
Mark Ricketts serves as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of McNeill Hotel Company. Prior to joining McNeill Hotel Company, Mr. Ricketts spent the last seven years serving as Vice President in the Realty Management Division for Goldman Sachs in Irving, TX. In his capacity, Ricketts provided hotel asset management oversight for a portfolio of over 300 properties, spanning 10 brands and 27 flags. Mark has nearly 35 years of experience in the hotel industry. He previously worked as Vice President of Asset Management for Equity Inns, Inc., a publicly traded Hotel REIT based in Germantown, TN. Prior to Equity Inns, Mr. Ricketts served as the Vice President of Hotel Operations for Memphis, TN based MASTER Hospitality Services. In his role, the company received the prestigious “Partnership Circle Award” from Marriott International.
Mr. Ricketts was recently named to serve on the Hilton Home 2 Suites Owner Advisory Council (OAC). In addition, Mark has served on the Hampton / Hilton Focused Service Hotels Brand Operations Council since 2000 and was a past member of the Hyatt Place Operations Advisory Committee. Ricketts previously served on the Board of Directors for both the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association from 2000-2008.
Thanks again for inviting me to the Southern Lodging Summit. I continue to find the conference one of the most informative events that I attend. I thought the sessions were outstanding and I thought the one moderated by Isaac was especially interesting. It's a great mix of local hoteliers and top notch industry executives so attendees gain practical knowledge about property operations and overall industry trends. Well done.
If you want a serious and thoughtful in depth discussion about current topics related to our industry, then this conference (SOUTHERN LODGING SUMMIT @ MEMPHIS) is the place for you.
"I have been attending and participating in the Southern Lodging Conference for the last 6 years...always a great lineup of speakers addressing timely regional and national industry topics...a terrific venue for networking purposes. I look forward to attending again this year."
"The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis continues to impress me year after year with its annual roster of top industry speakers and panelists, as well as its insistence on maintaining a forum for meaningful discussion on timely topics that matter to people in the hospitality industry."
"Only the true professionals will survive in the next several years. You will learn from the best (AT THE SOUTHERN LODGING SUMMIT @ MEMPHIS) and you will need it to be successful in the lodging industry going forward"
“The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis is one of the gems of the hotel conference industry….often overlooked but a great program. It may not be on your radar but it should be.”
“The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis…a perfectly-timed industry update;….a short, information-packed schedule (with) quick networking opportunity in a professional but relaxed setting;…the Presidents’ Panel is one of the most lively and honest forums of its kind;…Luncheon Keynote Speakers have also produced some memorable moments. I look forward to attending the Summit each year.”
“The intimate size, quality of content and the southern hospitality make The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis one of the best conferences the hospitality industry has to offer. You will learn from some of the best speakers in the industry, hear about topics that matter to you and network with industry peers who come back year after year.”
"… I found it to be informative and well attended;…the bright spots - the AHLA Update with Marlene Colucci…..(she) is a very good speaker and keeps everyone informed; The Star presentation was informative and impressed me with the data collected on OTA's. The President's panel…was a great mix of operators, lenders and franchise representatives. Peter Yesawich was entertaining and informative…a great opportunity to network."
"The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis was relevant, concise, on time, and totally worth the time and money spent. I will definitely be back next year. The speakers were great, the topics were the hot issues, and you kept it going. I saw a lot of old friends there and will plan to come earlier Tuesday and socialize now that I know they are coming."
Thank you all for the opportunity to be a panelist yesterday at the Southern Lodging Summit. It was a great time of learning and sharing. I left much more informed than when I arrived. It was an honor to be a part of such a great collection of industry professionals.
"I want to commend you for the good job you all did putting on the Southern Lodging Summit – 2012. The people, venue(s), information and networking exemplified the best of Southern Hospitality. I’ll definitely be back to this great event."
"I loved being there and especially back in the south again. When I have the privilege of attending such an event I am always impressed. How only in this industry can competitors come together in friendship and desire to learn and improve. The camaraderie was a thing of beauty and the hospitality was over the top. Thanks for your kind response to my remarks to a remarkable group."
"Congratulations…and thank you! Congratulations on your best ever Conference!! I like the various venues and dress and audiences…I like the size. The food was outstanding…your menu selections were terrific. Mike Leven was great. Mark LaPorte was very strong! "
"Chuck, I’m happy to be a part of the conference. I’ve told you before it’s the best conference of its size and the content surpasses many of the big conferences, too."
"Thank you again for the opportunity to address the delegates at the annual lodging summit in August. I was very impressed with the conference organization and the quality of the programming. I can certainly see why you have gained such a strong following over the years."
“The Southern Lodging Summit provided an excellent networking opportunity along with meaningful speakers and content. The keynote was both moving and impactful.”
“Every year the Southern Lodging Summit at Memphis proves why it is a must-attend event for hospitality leaders throughout the country. From the speakers and panels discussing critical issues impacting hoteliers to the personal interaction with industry leaders, the summit was not only valuable, it was a real pleasure. I’m looking forward to attending next year and encourage anyone who wants to be part of one of the best lodging events in the country to do the same.”
The Memphis conference provides a unique view at a growing industry, which is going through a significant change and globalization. The Conference drew an exceptional group of Industry Executives and leaders, whose candor was refreshing
I truly enjoyed the Summit last week. The hospitality found in Tennessee and the professionalism throughout the event were second to none. I am glad that I had the opportunity to participate and look forward to staying connected to all the great people that I had the pleasure of meeting.
The event was wonderful and I was able to take back some items to apply to our hotel group. Hopefully I was able to provide some items for the rest of the attendees to take back as well.
...congratulations on another successful SLS. I thought it was one of the best one’s I have attended.
Awesome. Great content, lots of fun, excellent chow! Thank you so much for inviting me to speak.
It was an excellent conference...really found the panelists and speakers very informative and I learned a bunch to take back to my business and colleagues....this Summit is a don't miss.
I just wanted to let you know that Memphis really put on a great show this week. The speakers, facilities, food, and overall hospitality was top notch. And, I very much enjoyed getting the chance to reconnect with friends.
I just wanted to say thank you for inviting me to participate in SLS this year. I was so impressed by the conference—the speakers and participants, the way you run it, everything. Now I know why Higley always hogged this conference for himself!
Chuck and his team continue to attract a top notch line-up of industry veterans and thought leaders. The conference is small enough to allow for lively interaction between audience members but large enough to tackle the issues relevant to the industry today. I am always pleased and honored to participate.
SLS@Memphis provides a comfortable setting to meet and hear from both regional and national leaders on issues facing our industry.
A great mid year conference that exemplifies the Southern Hospitality Spirit and Tradition.
The Memphis Summit has consistently delivered terrific insights and speakers. I'm proud to be a partner in 2013 and have enjoyed participating over the years as there is consistently a great turnout of industry leaders and a highly engaging format.
The SLS@Memphis is one of the best-run conferences in our industry and provides attendees with invaluable information pertaining to the region, as well as the industry as a whole. The intimate setting allows for great collaboration amongst attendees and speakers. My thanks go out to Chuck and the entire SLS team for holding such a great event in Memphis, a city which has played a historically-relevant role in our industry.
It is always a great thing for the Memphis business and hospitality community when nationally recognized leaders meet here and can learn more about what is happening on a local, regional and national basis. There is no other forum like it in this area.
The Southern Lodging Summit is an intimate gathering of today’s industry experts where current topics can be elaborated upon and discussed in an environment that is easy to navigate. The Pinkowski team makes sure the conference stays interesting, on point, and entertaining!
The Southern Lodging Summit creates a perfect storm, combining multiple big ideas from different directions, all at a scale perfect for networking and collegiality. A great experience for any hotelier.
The Southern Lodging Summit is always engaging and informative with outstanding panels and speakers. Most of all I enjoy the ability to connect with industry colleagues and leaders from every segment. This year’s Summit was no exception – the format and content was exceptional.
The Southern Lodging Summit is a great place to learn about new trends and regulation in the lodging business. The conference is located in a premier southern destination city and provides great networking opportunities with many top level management and ownership groups – I have been attending the conference every year for six years and it’s never disappointing and a lot of fun!
I found the Southern Lodging Summit particularly interesting and helpful due to learning the ‘up to the minute’ industry trends, the diversity of topics and hearing ideas particularly relevant to owners and operators like ourselves. I found the size of the conference perfect for networking and socializing with colleagues and will definitely make it a point to return and recommend to my peers in the industry.
The Southern Lodging Summit afforded me the opportunity to share my experiences as well as learn from the successes of my peers. I am better informed, but more importantly I am more motivated after attending.
The Summit is a great blend of Southern Hospitality and insightful, thought-provoking discussion. The friendly feel and extensive networking opportunities help make the Southern Lodging Summit unique. You’ll be glad you came.
The Southern Lodging Summit is a great venue in a relaxed environment to meet with owners, developers and management companies to share ideas and discuss trends in our industry. The panelists are passionate and knowledgeable about their topics And help attendees grasp some intricacies of our business that they may not have thought about.
I left the Southern Lodging Summit with some new and valuable insights that I will be able to apply to my business immediately. The regional aspect of the conference is of particular value in its relevance to the issues we face developing and operating hotels in the South-East. Further, the intimate nature of the conference lent itself to more valuable interactions and networking opportunities than I see at larger conferences. I think this is a great conference and would wholeheartedly recommend it to my peers.