Marek Gawel, an international student from Reutlingen University, Germany, graduated from Niagara University with his MBA in May of 2011. During his time at NU, he completed his thesis with the assistance of Dr. Ann Rensel, assistant professor of management, to fulfill his Reutlingen requirements. He is currently the general manager of the Best Western Premier Bellevue Rheinhotel in Boppard, Germany, which has been owned by his family for five generations.
On November 16, 2012, at the annual Food Consulting Society International (FCSI) meeting, Gawel was selected as the winner of the FCSI JuniorChampion 2012. His idea is the hybrid-concept of hotel and hostel, the “i-hostel.” It incorporates the vision “individual & green” with a concept that is predominantly, but not solely, based on targeting young customer. Rooms will range from comfortable double rooms to six-bed rooms for young travelers. The comprehensive business plan that Gawel presented – which included an economic feasibility study and possible financing models – not only impressed the jury for the award but also the guests of the FCSI annual meeting 2012 in the Hilton hotel in Frankfurt. Of importance for the future entrepreneur to implement his idea is to be the “First Mover.” Only with this advantage does he assumes his idea to be effective. To be successful, Gawel already registered the trademark “i-hostel.”
Gawel now has the chance to also present his work at the “European FCSI-Competition Young Persons Competition“ in Warsaw in 2013. Today he not only won the award but also a check of 2,500 Euros.