Srikanth Beldona (center) accepts his award as one of the HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization for 2015.

Extraordinary Mind honoree

UD's Beldona cited for work in hospitality sales, marketing, revenue optimization


10:27 a.m., Feb. 25, 2016--The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has selected the University of Delaware’s Srikanth Beldona as one of the HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization for 2015.

The 13th annual list recognizes the “best of the best” in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries. 

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Beldona was among the recipients honored last week during the Adrian Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis, as well as in a private ceremony co-sponsored by HSMAI and Questex Hospitality and Travel.

The 2015 recipients were judged by a panel of senior industry executives for their recent work based on the following criteria: creativity and innovation, cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns, triumph in challenging situations and/or sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains. 

“The Top 25 is our annual hot list that celebrates the sales, marketing and revenue management leaders and innovators in our industry,” said Robert A. Gilbert, president and CEO of HSMAI. “The creative strategies, passionate dedication and sharp intelligence of these professionals have not only grown the business within their organizations but have also truly raised the bar for the hospitality industry as a whole.”

Beldona was honored for his work as program director of the master of science in hospitality business management and associate professor of hotel, restaurant and institutional management (HRIM) in UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the industry for relevant scholarship in the field of hospitality marketing,” Beldona said.

When asked where he finds his inspiration for creativity and innovation in hospitality and travel, Beldona described the field as one that provides a unique service, with its own distinctive term to define the customer: the guest.

“The term ‘guest’ is actually a very loaded word,” he said. “Simply looking at everything that guests aspire for, endure toward and seek in hospitality-based experiences in a dynamic market environment is intrinsically fascinating to examine at a psychosocial level.”

“Guest needs will always be a moving target shaped by technological, social and global forces on society because hospitality is to provide lifestyle-oriented home away from home services,” Beldona continued. “Creativity and innovation in our industry are driven by our desire to provide the best balance of home and lifestyle at the target market level in a dynamic market environment.”

Sheryl Kline, HRIM department chair, said that inclusion in the HSMAI Top 25 is an indication of the value Beldona adds to the University.

“It is a high honor when academics are valued in industry for their scholarly contribution to the field,” Kline said.

She added that Beldona is “not only an outstanding marketing scholar; he is also an outstanding professor in the classroom. Our students are fortunate to benefit from his groundbreaking research and innovative teaching.”

In addition to celebrating Beldona’s achievements, the Adrian Award gala recognized the top achievements in advertising, digital marketing and public relations in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries. 

Beldona will be featured in a Questex travel publication article, received a personalized plaque, and henceforward will be recognized as a Top 25 Mind in Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization.


The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. 

The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI’s MEET, Adrian Awards and Revenue Optimization Conference

HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising nearly 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. 

Connect with HSMAI at its website or through Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Photos by Getty Images

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