Joe DePalma Sr.
Throughout his career, Joe DePalma, Sr. was recognized as a hospitality industry leader. Known extensively for his property workout and turn-around skills, Mr. DePalma spent his last 33 years as President & CEO of DePalma Hotels and Resorts.
He began his career in the early-1970's as a Food & Beverage Director. Property workouts and turn-around projects soon became his specialty. Early in his career, he engineered a $4 million profit turnaround for the Royal Coach Hotel in Dallas as General Manager.
In the mid-70’s, Mr. DePalma assumed responsibility for the faltering Americana Hotel in Bal Harbour, Florida. Within a two-year period, Mr. DePalma dramatically increased occupancy while improving operating profits by over $5 million. This significant achievement brought Mr. DePalma to the forefront of the Americana organization where he was subsequently promoted to Vice President of Operations.
Mr. DePalma joined the Pratt Hotel Corporation in 1981 as Senior Vice President of Operations where he supervised the acquisition and development of multi-unit portfolios. While with Pratt, he was instrumental in developing Holiday Inn’s Crowne Plaza concept. Mr. DePalma developed the prototype Crowne Plaza property: the Centre Plaza Hotel. Within two years, the property had achieved an 80% occupancy rate that spurred an equally impressive gross operating profit.
In 1983, Mr. DePalma formed the DePalma Hotel Corporation later to become DePalma Hotels and Resorts. He maintained a talented team of hotel professionals with the experience to provide a broad range of hospitality management services to this day. His philosophy of balancing the needs of the guest, associate, management company and owner have proven to be extremely successful as the company has achieved lasting success and operated off of those principles today.
Mr. DePalma was widely quoted regarding industry issues in a variety of hospitality journals and was recognized for his support of hospitality education by the Educational Foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association of which he was an active Board Member. He also served as a past President of the Texas Hotel & Motel Association and was awarded the TH&LA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Joseph DePalma passed away in 2016 at the age of 73. He will always be remembered for his contributions and passion he felt for the industry he loved.