Dr. Lonnie G. Wright is a native Las Vegan and the founder of Hospitality International Training Academy (HIT). But he is much more than that. He brings a rich background to HIT that includes:
- More than three decades of gaming, resort, and hotel hospitality, teaching, training, and fund raising experience. Dr. Wright taught Hotel Administration for two and a half years at UNLV and was recruited by the American College of Singapore to develop a Hotel College in that country. He’s had the opportunity to hold almost every position in the hotel and casino industry, excelling at numerous properties; positions included porter, security, surveillance, assistant hotel manager, dealer, and floor supervisor.
- Hospitality Industry top trainer domestically & internationally – some of the top hospitality companies and government agencies have sought him out for training and council for a myriad of issues pertaining to hospitality and gaming.
- Trained a group in Detroit to form a gaming unit in anticipation of bringing gaming to that city.
- Trained Kangwon Land project in Korea, the first gaming venture for the domestic Korean market.
- Teamed with local gaming moguls Steve Wynn and Bobby Baldwin to recruit and train 150 African American dealers for Wynn properties including the grand opening of Bellagio…the most expensive Hotel and casino known to man at the time.
- Served as Chair of the Department of Resorts/Gaming at the College of Southern Nevada. Promoted to Dean of the Hospitality Programs and Services, and again promoted to Associate Vice President.
- Testified as an Expert Witness for the Federal Public Defenders Office in the investigation of a gaming scam. Has been repeatedly called upon by the federal government when an expert opinion on gaming issues is required.
- Trained all levels of employees, supervisors, and upper level managers at the Casa Blanca and Virgin River Hotel Casino properties.
- Founded a program to provide funding and academic support for student-athletes to complete college degrees. Dr. Wright was recognized for raising awareness of the plight of student athletes and raised over $3 million in scholarship money for the educational pursuits of over 100 athletes who obtained bachelors and masters degrees. The NCAA used his program as a model for post-eligibility academic support services.
- Initiated a program in partnership with the Salvation Army to provide homeless with job skills and hospitality training,
- Partnered with internationally famous TV celebrity chef and author Jeff Henderson to train prisoners with work skills for the hospitality industry.
- Board Member and Chair of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Nevada.
- Appointed by to governors to the Governor’s Board on Juvenile Justice. Served on Governor’s Commission of Adult Corrections.
- Served as majority stakeholder, Chairman, and CEO of a $70 million wholesale food business.
His longevity in Las Vegas has seen Dr. Lonnie G. Wright develop strong affiliations with the major players in the hospitality industry and overall with the business industry. Professor Wright’s community service includes his position as the Vice President of the Tri-State NAACP, serving Nevada, Utah, and Idaho.
Given the qualifications and qualities of the founder and Executive Director, and the team he has assembled, Hospitality International Training Academy will continue to serve the needs of those who require a hand up, not a handout. His motto is, “When academics interfaces with business, both entities are enriched.”