Jeff Hart grew up in the Midwest, just a stone’s throw from his alma mater Purdue University. So, it was fitting that much of his early career was spent working at hotels in Midwest cities like Cleveland; South Bend, Indiana; and Lexington, Kentucky.

In 1994, after a stint as director of catering at the Miami Airport Marriott, Hart made his way to Westchester, where he spent four years at the 1,004-room LAX Marriott Hotel.

“This hotel and this market is really special,” he said. “It’s a dynamic place to work with a lot going on.”

Hart returned to Chicago, but lasted only 24 months before Southern California called him back.

“I thought I missed home, but I realized this was home,” he recalled.

He bounced around Marriott hotels in Manhattan Beach and Marina del Rey before landing his first general manager job at the Courtyard by Marriott in Pasadena.

“At first, I didn’t want to work in the select services branch (which includes a variety of Marriott’s smaller brands such as Courtyard),” he said. “But it was my chance to run my own box. Looking back, I don’t think I would be here today without that experience. The learning was incredible. You learn every aspect of running the business when you run a hotel like that.”

Hart went on to serve as GM for a new Marriott hotel in Redmond, Washington; led a major renovation as the GM of the Seattle Airport Marriott; and returned to Southern California to head the Manhattan Beach Marriott.

“But this is always where I wanted to be,” said Hart, looking around the LAX Marriott. “It was always my aspiration to come back and be GM at this hotel, and what a time to be here!”

Hart said he is excited about the future of the hotel, which is on the precipice of a $40 million renovation that will begin at the end of October as well as the many improvements happening in and around the Gateway area.

“From the improvements at the airport and the Metro to the new NFL stadium and the L.A. Olympic bid, it’s an incredible time to be here,” said Hart, who lives in El Segundo with his wife, Kim, a longtime Marriott employee, and their two daughters, Haley and Julia.

“I actually met my wife at this hotel, so it’s a special place for us,” he said. “We have spent a lot of time in the South Bay, and we’ve loved every minute of it!

Los Angeles Airport Marriott

5855 West Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA90045

(310) 641-5700