Carver Companies Blog

They call me "Charley"

Jul 3, 2019
Charlene "Charley" Carter

Chief Development Officer


So often I'm asked how I got started in my hospitality career. How did I get from then to now? Well to be candid, my desired profession was to become a dentist, however, my path changed during my college years. While working as a bartender at Truffles Restaurant, in Savannah, Georgia, I had the privilege of meeting a movie director named John, who was currently onsite filming Swamp Thing 2.  He became a frequent customer and was aware that I was attending college with aspirations of becoming a dentist. One day, John posed a question – “Why a dentist?” – that would alter my focus in acknowledging truth. "Why not?," I replied. John in his sarcastic way responded, "For someone with so much to say and who believes in dialogue, I can't ever see you completing a mouth."  Fast forward from that point, I shifted my focus from dentistry to hotel and restaurant management.

I'm reminded of a quote I once heard, "You'll never arise to who you are, where you are. Sometimes you must move out of where you are positioned." 

My hospitality career began in 1987 as a hostess at an InterContinental property in Atlanta. As my talents began growing, I was soon recruited into the Management Trainee Program. Upon successful completion, I became one of the youngest minority hotel leaders in the region. 

In 1998, I launched my first entrepreneurial role as vice president and partner of 'Atlanta Hospitality Group,' which was a hospitality company focused on providing sales representation for select and limited service hotels.

Focused on the importance of blessing others, and truly living by the motto "It is better to give than to receive,"'Operation Hospitality'  (OH) was born.  OH was a pilot program launched in January 2001 and it offered Hospitality Environmental Readiness, which was geared towards preparing candidates to capture entry-level positions within the hotel and lodging industry. OH referenced social skills, workplace diversity, job retention and professional work ethics in the hospitality workforce.

In 2013, my focus embarked on another season of my career, and I gained a partnership with Carver Hotel Group as executive vice president, which later evolved into chief development officer of the Carver Companies. My onus is to enhance company visibility while identifying mature hoteliers and providing human capital to the hospitality industry.

Carver's approach is simple "We don't do things different, just BETTER."  The hospitality industry continues to grow and is one of the largest industries in the world. With growth, comes the need for qualified talent at all levels. Administering over 600 Task Force consultants and recruiting a division of entry level individuals for housekeeping and food/beverage, Carver Hotel Group, and Carver World Staffing have become the premier provider for solutions to staffing challenges.

During my vast hospitality career, I've mastered the best practices in every position from entry level management, corporate executive, and presently co-founder and chief development officer with one of the largest hospitality agencies in North America. My focus determines my reality. 

So in conclusion, I ask you – how does your focus determine your reality?