Rinkesh Patel, president of RAM Hotels, will deliver the keynote address to Troy University graduates during a joint commencement ceremony for the Phenix City Campus and the Columbus/Fort Benning location on Jan. 18.
The ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. (ET) at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. Nearly 100 graduates are expected to participate in the ceremony.
Patel arrived in the United States in 1998, and, as a 16-year-old junior at Opelika High School, began working for his uncle, learning the hotel business. He volunteered for the night shifts, traveled to construction sites, and wrote emails and maintained spreadsheets for his uncle. That hands-on experience in hotel operations at all levels paid off. While studying engineering at Auburn University at the age of 21, Patel and other family members purchased a Days Inn Hotel in Phenix City.
Today, as the guiding force behind RAM Hotels, Patel serves as president of the company that is poised to take its place as a premiere hotel management and development leader of Hilton and Marriott branded hotels. Currently RAM Hotels owns 20 hotels, 10 different brands with 450 associates working across eight different cities. By end of 2020, RAM Hotel will have 10 additional hotels and total 700-plus associates under its umbrella.
Patel serves as a member of the Southern States Bank advisory board, as well as various Marriott ad hoc committees. He is married to his childhood girlfriend, Jigna Patel, and is a devoted father to his children, Shiven and Aarush Patel. When not at work he enjoys traveling the world with his family, learning new places, cultures and people.