David Donnelly

Franchise Partner | Hospitality Division

David grew up in Michigan and started his hospitality career at the tender age of fifteen working in a restaurant as a porter and dishwasher.  His first manager taught him the importance of hard work and doing the job right the first time.  Fast forward several decades later, David has carried that mantra with him throughout his career and worked in some of the finest restaurants, hotels, resorts and country clubs in the United States in several management and director positions.

Since that first job, David worked almost every position possible in a restaurant from cook to bartender to supervisor.  After college, David was hired by Marriott Hotels & Resorts and successfully completed their renowned training program. He began his professional management career as a restaurant manager in a very high-volume airport property.  From there, David’s career continued with companies such as Wyndham International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts as well as two Platinum Clubs of America.  David’s experience includes downtown, airport and suburban hotels as well as conference centers, resorts, city clubs and country clubs. 

David has been a certified trainer, a certified food & beverage executive, certified in food service management through Cornell University and a member of the CMAA.     

Becoming a franchise partner with Gecko Hospitality just seemed like the right thing to do after dedicating so many years to the operations side of the business.  David has always been in the service industry and now wants to serve his candidates and clients by “connecting people and changing lives, one career at a time”.  David lives in San Clemente with his wife Rose, son Peter, and Dakota, their one of a kind dog. They enjoy traveling, summer vacation ‘up north’, dining, hiking and just chillin’ by the beach.