Auburn alumna named to Hotel Management’s 30 Under 30 List

Published: November 21, 2019
Updated: November 22, 2019
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Noted hospitality publication Hotel Management has named two-time Auburn University alumna Brook Ladner to its “30 Under 30” list of the industry’s rising stars.

Ladner grew up in Opp, Alabama, more than 100 miles from Auburn. When she began considering colleges, though she visited several schools, she felt Auburn was the perfect fit. She knew she loved food, beverage and traveling, but hadn’t realized her specific career passion until her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Ladner said the excellent service made that night special, and she was inspired by what she saw.

“That was a really memorable night and I left feeling that was what I wanted to do,” she said. “I wanted to help people have those experiences.”

Ladner earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management in 2014 and a master’s degree in nutrition, dietetics and hospitality management in 2017. During her time at Auburn, she studied abroad with the Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy program, which she said helped her build life skills such as confidence and adaptability. She also interned at Windham Vacation Rentals in Panama City Beach, Florida, where she built more of her general hospitality knowledge through real-world experience.

Just across the street from Auburn, Ladner has been able to polish those professional skills even more at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. She said this experience enhances what she learned in the classroom.

“There are so many opportunities at Auburn, from classes to certifications,” she said. “By the time you graduate, you have so much real, practical experience and such a great resume that you’re able to stand out.”

Ladner is the assistant food and beverage director at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. In this role, she helps supervise what’s served in the meeting rooms, restaurant, cafes, banquet halls and catering service. She also advocates for the staff and other members of the leadership team to ensure everyone has what they need to provide excellent service to the hotel guests.

“What I love most about my job is that every day is different. I fell in love with the chaos—and I mean that in the best way—of the every day,” she said. “In this job, it’s always changing and challenging. And I never want to be complacent.”

Ladner said she was humbled to learn that she’d been named to the 30 Under 30 list. Looking forward, she said she’s excited to see the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center come to life.

“I’m very passionate about the industry, but also about hospitality education, so I want to be a part of bringing that to life,” Ladner said. “Getting to help build the future through these classes and students really excites me.”

Information on Auburn’s hospitality management program can be found here. A digital edition of Hotel Management is available here.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.