Have you heard of conscious capitalism? Capitalism isn’t inextricably tied to greed; it’s also about buying power and turning consumer spending into charitable giving. If you’re familiar with Tom’s Shoes, the one-for-one model that pairs a purchase of shoes with a donation to a needy recipient, you’ll understand Hotels for Hope. This company’s tagline is “Book rooms. Change lives.” It’s a powerful message and it’s exactly what drew hospitality industry veteran Michael Shannon to the Austin, Texas-based startup a little over a year ago.

Shannon is a 32-year veteran with well-rounded experience, including most recently as director of global sales at MGM Resorts, so he knows a thing or two about the buying power of groups. “Planners aren’t changing anything they do when they work with H4H,” says Shannon. “They’re just booking through our platform.”

Each actualized room night generates a $2 donation to children’s charities around the world—at no cost to the planner ($1 comes from the hotels and $1 comes from H4H). It’s a win-win in an industry that books room nights daily. “We help clients fulfill their corporate social responsibility,” says Shannon, explaining that clients are able to earmark the funds collected from their bookings to the children’s charity of their choosing (preselected by H4H). “Clients are able to co-create an experience, say by helping buy books for a library.”

The New Jersey-based Shannon spent the first nine months shuttling back and forth to Austin, and while his role was to assemble a nationwide team and develop strategic partner- ships, he still gets involved in the nitty-gritty. “I have clients that call me directly. We’ll talk about what they want and often they know what hotel they want and already have a contact, but I’ll streamline the process. I don’t have customers. I have friends,” says Shannon, who is finding this latest challenge to be especially rewarding. “I relish learning from this next generation and work with very talented millenials. I am learning more than I did 10 years ago. It’s so refreshing.”

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iLink2Media is an International online platform that specializes in spotlighting the art of giving back. We are dedicated to promoting, encouraging and supporting Global Citizenship from Philanthropists, Executives, Politicians, World Leaders and Celebrities that relentlessly uplift various communities and make a positive impact on the lives of others.

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