Jack DeBoer Speaks to Students, Community
WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University hosted a presentation featuring Jack DeBoer, the “father” of the extended-stay hotel concept and noted philanthropist, with a local hospitality-industry company this week.
Creative Lodging Solutions, a corporate lodging provider based in Lexington, Ky., invited Asbury’s business students to attend the presentation and donated 150 copies of DeBoer’s book, “Risk Only Money,” to the business department.
By connecting Asbury’s students with DeBoer, Creative Lodging Solution’s CEO Michael Tetterton was able to continue the legacy of inspiration that began when he was a young general manager of a Residence Inn owned by DeBoer years ago. As he shared with the group, DeBoer’s management principles — which include setting goals not only for success but also for making a meaningful impact in people’s lives — planted seeds in Tetterton which still impact his business decisions today.
“We were delighted to work with Michael and Creative Lodging Solutions in making this event possible on our campus,” said Greg Swanson, Vice President of Advancement and General Counsel at Asbury. “They are an excellent example to our students about the value of thinking from the customers’ perspective.”
After graduating from Michigan State University and serving in the military, DeBoer began building apartments across the United States in the late 1960s. In the 1970s, he developed the first Residence Inn in Wichita and went on to build or franchise 100 hotels before selling the Residence Inn Company to the Marriott Corporation in 1987. Since then, he has developed and sold the Summerfield House Hotel Corporation and Candlewood Hotel Company, and he founded Value Place, a hybrid model that blends extended-stay hotel features with short-term apartment concepts, in 2002.
In the late 1980s, DeBoer and his wife, Marilyn, capitalized on his business success to embark on an around-the-world tour of countries and communities that, as he says, “no one had ever heard of.” Burma, in particular, captured their hearts with a combination of compelling needs and relatively straightforward solutions. Since then, the couple has been deeply involved in World Vision’s work in the country.
“The opportunity to hear from someone who has so much experience, both in business and in fruitful ministry, was a blessing,” said Asbury University President Sandra Gray. “We’re thankful we were able to host the gathering, and I’m sure our students will remember his encouraging stories as they make their own business decisions.”
Associate Professor Mark Gill found DeBoer’s remarks to be particularly relevant to Asbury and its focus on developing students’ callings to positively impact their worlds.
“It is reaffirming for our students to hear the messages that we try to teach from practitioners who have lived and worked these experiences,” Gill said. “Asbury does a wonderful job of instilling in our students the sense of a higher purpose in the work that they do. Jack DeBoer learned that lesson, but freely admitted it wasn’t until later in life that he realized it. I am optimistic that Asbury graduates will know this at the start of their careers.”