Jim Gerish founded Emerald Hospitality in 1999. His career in the hospitality industry is built on a foundation which began at the early age of 15 in the position of stock boy, busboy, and range cook for a 50’s style drive in restaurant. Jim often speaks about those humble beginnings and the many life lessons he learned as a young associate. He has held nearly every position within our industry, bringing 50+ years of wide-ranging hospitality experience to the Emerald Hospitality team. Over the course of his career, he has been involved in the development, repositioning, and opening of over 40 hotels.
Prior to founding Emerald Hospitality, Jim held a variety of senior positions with other hotel management companies. Of particular note, he was instrumental in the development and launch of a new hotel brand, Skylight Inns. Immediately prior to founding Emerald Hospitality he was with the Snavely Hotel Group for nearly 20 years, eventually serving as President. He was part of the strategic exit planning for the disposition of that firm’s hotel portfolio.
Jim’s depth and range of experience allows him to advise on both short-term and long-term plans for the operations, management, and financing of the hotels and food and beverage outlets that Emerald Hospitality oversees. In addition, Jim was instrumental in the formation of the Nimbus Investment Fund financial platform. This has provided Emerald Hospitality an opportunity to work with a group of investors and structure acquisitions within the hotel and mixed-use space.
Jim graduated with honors from Michigan State University after completing its prestigious hospitality program. He and his wife Kris are major contributors to Michigan State and many charitable organizations. He is proud of the mentoring of so many people throughout his career, especially the depth of talent within the entire ranks of Emerald Hospitality. However, if you strike up a conversation with him, you quickly learn that he is most proud of the opportunity for he and his wife Kris to develop The Emerald Foundation. The Foundation supports the charitable giving of the associates at each hotel in combination with many other opportunities for giving and community involvement. Of the various advisory boards that Jim has served on, he is most pleased to serve on the Advisory Council for the Real Estate Investment Management program within MSU’s School of Hospitality Business for students seeking a Minor in that area.