J. Allen Smith
“As we continue to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities ahead we will always respect and preserve the competitive advantages that form the cornerstone of our formidable brand – our people and our culture.”
J. Allen Smith oversees all aspects of the company’s global portfolio of hotels, resorts and branded residences and is responsible for advancing Four Seasons position as the world’s leading luxury hospitality company. Guiding the company’s overall direction and strategic priorities, Allen leverages Four Seasons single brand and absolute commitment to luxury hospitality to extend the company’s global presence and leadership.
Leading the development and execution of the company’s strategy with a long-term view to creating shareholder and hotel owner value, Allen is focused on protecting and strengthening Four Seasons competitive advantages and extending the brand’s legendary culture of service excellence in the world’s most important destinations.
“We pursue opportunities that allow us to do what we do best - deliver the highly personalized service that is the expectation of today’s luxury traveller. Our ability to consistently deliver this type of service excellence on a global scale is unmatched and the key to our ongoing success. It will continue to set Four Seasons apart and define our brand.”
- At Four Seasons: Joined Four Seasons in 2013
- Previously: Allen began work at Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI), one of the world’s largest real estate investment managers, in 1987 as a member of its hotel investment group and was appointed CEO in 2008. Under his leadership, PREI expanded its global presence to 23 offices worldwide and USD 53 billion in real estate assets under management, including many hotels.
- Education: A graduate of Cornell University, Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration.
- Member, Cornell University Board of Trustees
- Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration, Real Estate Advisory Board
- Board Member, Canadian Opera Company
- Member, Industry Real Estate Financing Authority Council (IREFAC) of the American Hotel and Lodging Association
- Allen and his wife Kathy have been married for more than 25 years and have four children. “My immediate family includes 12 members to be exact: two parents, four children (two girls, two boys) and six pets (three dogs, three cats).”
- The great outdoors: An avid cyclist, Allen recently completed his first “century ride” of 100 miles and loves fly fishing; his last trip was to New Zealand.
- Kitchen confidential: Allen loves to cook and apprenticed at Paris’s iconic Pavillon Ledoyen restaurant during the summer of 1984. “The Executive Chef called me McEnroe because I started at the same time that the French Open began play.”
- On leadership: “There are opportunities for leadership at all levels of a company or organization. Leadership is not the exclusive province of the most senior executives. Leadership is in large part about taking initiative to lead change, be that big or small.”