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Grace Under Fire: Vida Chow

The hospitality industry requires patience and empathy, and this international alumna has it mastered.

People  |  Mar 13, 2018  |  By Caitlyn Lopez

Vida Chow, '87 BS Hotel Administration and '06 Executive Master of Hospitality Administration

Editor's Note: 

This story is part of a series highlighting 50 intriguing alumni as part of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality’s 50th anniversary celebration.

From hosting presidents and celebrities to resolving guest and employee grievances, Vida Chow knows working in the sleepless hospitality industry requires a certain level of patience and empathy.

So when things inevitably get tense, Chow calls upon her favorite mantra: “Keep calm and carry on.” Those words have served Chow well throughout her nearly 30-year career with Hyatt.

Chow’s ability to stay composed in the face of pressure impressed Hyatt management from the start. Early on, the organization trusted the young professional to take on leadership positions that went beyond her “events” experience—roles such as front office manager and, later, human resources director.

Now in charge of talent management for all of Asia Pacific, Chow is quick to reflect on how her early challenges served to push her professionally.

“You should always be ready to step out of the comfort zone, take risks, and persevere,” she said. “When you least expect it, something great will come along.”

Which leads her to cite one of her other favorite quotes: “Be patient. Be smart. Stay focused.”

Now three decades into her career, Chow says she continues to be charmed by the hospitality industry. And she credits her alma mater for giving her a solid start in the heart of the industry.

“I picked UNLV because of its great reputation, and it helps that you have great access to the Strip,” she said. “Hotel administration is a fun and global environment where I can meet a lot of people from different backgrounds and cultures.”