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Brian O’Connor knew that he wanted to work in the hospitality industry at a young age. His grandparents operated a roadside motor inn in the 1960s and 1970s and helped start the Michigan Motel Association in Lansing, Mich. where he grew up.
As a teen, he worked as a dishwasher for a restaurant/catering company and then later at McDonald’s. “During college, I had a part-time job working for the Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau and opened a new Holiday Inn near campus working in the sales department,” he says. “Hospitality is in my ‘green’ MSU Spartan blood.”
Also, while studying at Michigan State University in East Lansing, O’Connor was the campus liaison for Hilton Hotels Corporation and worked two summer internships in the Los Angeles area. He moved to Los Angeles after graduation and began a career as a marketing coordinator for the Hilton Hotels World Headquarters, where later, as senior brand manager, he helped manage the design and global implementation of Hilton’s brand identity in 1996. Prior to joining Cunard, he also served as director of public relations at The Beverly Hilton where he managed publicity and media relations for more than 120 red carpet events.
O’Connor, who serves as president of PRSA’s Los Angeles Chapter, is currently the director of marketing and public relations for the iconic British ocean liner Cunard Line.