“We must see to it that our own spirit of entrepreneurship is burning as brightly as those who are embracing it for the first time.” For Michael Rose, there’s no such thing as sitting back and resting on one’s laurels – one must continue to innovate and grow, and that’s exactly what Michael is all about. Michael began his career as an attorney in Cincinnati representing one of Holiday Inns, Inc.’s largest franchisees. In the mid 1970’s he moved to Memphis with Holiday Inns, Inc., where he served in a variety of positions. As President, CEO and ultimately Chairman, Mr. Rose led the company in developing a strategic growth initiative that included acquiring the gaming company, Harrah’s Entertainment and developing the hotel products, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inns and Homewood Suites. When the Holiday Inn Brand was sold in 1990,the Promus Companies was formed, with Michael as Chairman and CEO. In 1995, the company was split into Harrah’s Entertainment and Promus Hotel Corporation, and he continued as Chairman of both until he retired from Harrah’s in 1996 and Promus in 1997. After a short retirement, Michael joined Gaylord Entertainment Inc. as Chairman in 2001. He recruited Colin Reed as CEO, and helped Colin bring in a new management team and formulate a new strategy focused on Gaylord’s unique convention hotel niche. He served until 2005 when he stepped down as chairman and continues to serve as an active member of the board of directors.
In 2007, Michael was named chairman of First Horizon National Corporation, where he has served as a board member for over 25 years. At a time when the economy and the banking industry was reaching a critical point, he worked with management and the board to aggressively change the strategic direction of the company and recruit Bryan Jordan who now serves as CEO.
Michael also currently lends his knowledge and experience as a board member to industry leaders such as Darden Restaurants and General Mills, Inc.
He is actively involved with University of Memphis as a long-term member of its Board of Visitors and Chairman of its Athletics Committee. Rose is a 1963 graduate of the University of Cincinnati and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1966.
“‘Whether operating in a large established corporation, a new venture or working as a small business person with a unique product or idea, it is the spirit of entrepreneurship that drives long term success…Encouraging entrepreneurship has been a hallmark of our country’s status as the world business leader. As we enter a true global economy, it is vitally important that American business leaders recognize and understand the role entrepreneurship has played in our success. As new economies continue to emerge from the oppression of communism, the devastation of internal revolution or the demoralization of poverty, they, too, will discover that it is the entrepreneurs who lead the way to economic success and personal liberty. To remain a world leader we must see to it that our own spirit of entrepreneurship is burning as brightly as those who are embracing it for the very first time.”
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