Stephanie Sonnabend MBA '79
CEO & President
- Sonesta International Hotels Corporation
Stephanie Sonnabend is a former CEO, director, consultant, executive coach and speaker. She is looking to serve on a public or private corporate board where her global CEO and crises planning experience could add value to a real estate, hospitality, restaurant or family business company.
Stephanie has demonstrated her visionary ideas and leadership skills in numerous ways. As CEO of Sonhos Strategic Advisors and a crisis planning specialists she has published a number of best practices checklists for the hospitality and restaurant industries. She consults with CEOs and senior executives in the hospitality, travel, entertainment and family business industries. www.sonhosadvisors.com.
As CEO and President of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Stephanie led a publicly traded family controlled global hospitality company through numerous business cycles and major crises. In her thirty-five-year hospitality career, she built a strong corporate culture applauded by the industry and resulting in longevity of employees at all levels. She spearheaded significant international growth, resulting in 18 Latin American and 13 Egyptian properties in additional to hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean. After the business sold at a 71% premium above average share price, Stephanie led the new business in adding 21 hotels and an additional $100 million in revenue in 18 months.
Stephanie served on the Board of Sonesta and of Century Bank, a $4 billion publicly traded, family controlled commercial bank, where she was a member of the Audit Committee and chaired the Asset Liability (risk) Committee. She served as a director of SVN, a commercial real estate franchisor. She has chaired numerous committees (facilities, marketing, strategic planning, nominating, governmental affairs) on higher education boards of trustees and on association and governmental boards.
Stephanie is Co-Founder and Chair of 2020 Women on Boards, an education and advocacy campaign committed to building momentum toward increasing the number of women directors on corporate boards. In 2021, the organization changed to 50/50 Women on Boards with the mission to advocate for gender-balanced corporate boards. Stephanie is the Chief Data Analyst and Co-Author of the Gender Diversity Index report, tracking the progress of women corporate directors of the Russell 3000 Index companies, by company size, state and industry sector.
Stephanie holds degrees from Harvard University (BA) and MIT Sloan School of Management (MSM/MBA).