Shannon Rinella

Shannon Rinella is a leading expert in hospitality services standards, training and education.

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In a career that has taken her from the front desks of Walt Disney World to the headquarters of the world’s favorite travel company, Shannon specializes in helping iconic brands tell their stories and deliver exceptional guest experiences. 


Shannon’s passion for creating world-class experiences extends to guests and associates alike. In her current role as the Director of Learning Development for Marriott International, Shannon combines her learning expertise and operational know-how to craft impactful training solutions for Marriott’s portfolio of legendary luxury brands, including St. Regis and The Ritz-Carlton. Prior to joining Marriott, Shannon spent several years with Interstate Hotels & Resorts and with LRA by Deloitte, a leading Customer Experience Management firm, where she helped strengthen the service experience for clients including Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts, San Diego Zoo, and Delaware North Companies.  


Shannon’s career all began with a mouse – Mickey Mouse, to be exact. After graduating from Duke University, Shannon joined the cast of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida as a member of the Disney College Program. In less than a year with the company, Shannon became a Guest Service Manager at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort, where she learned the ropes of front office management and supported her Cast Members in creating “magic” daily for thousands of guests.


A strong advocate for developing the next generation of hospitality leaders, Shannon is an adjunct faculty member in Georgetown University’s Masters in Global Hospitality Leadership program, where she has designed and taught courses on human capital management, branding, and guest service. She currently serves on the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Education Certification and Advisory Committee and was as a contributing editor to its START (Skills, Tasks, and Results Training) program for front line associates. She has also served as a guest contributor for HotelExecutive.com and Lodging and Hospitality magazine.


Shannon is a proud graduate of Duke University and earned her MBA with a focus in strategic management from Villanova University.