Steve Cokkinias

Senior VP, Market Development

Steve came to FMG Leading from the hospitality industry, where he held leadership roles for nearly 2 decades at luxury hotels around the world.

He began his hospitality career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts before joining The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in April 2000 in Jamaica. Steve held various leadership positions at three different properties before becoming the youngest General Manager in the brand's history at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur at age 29. In addition to his current market development and brand oversight responsibilities at FMG Leading, he has delivered learning programs and keynotes on service excellence, culture, and leadership to a wide range of clients.

While in Malaysia, Steve was elected to the Board of Governors of the American-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), and he has served on the Steering Committee of the U.S. Embassy-based Overseas Security Advisory Committee (OSAC). In addition, he has assisted with the pre-opening of five Ritz-Carlton properties worldwide, including The Ritz-Carlton, Doha (Qatar) and The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou (China).

Steve graduated from Washington and Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology.

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EXPERIENCE

Steve serves as SVP, Market Development for FMG Leading, a group of advisors, coaches and educators that help senior leaders align human capital development with corporate growth strategy to create breakthrough results. Steve came to FMG Leading as a speaker and trainer with over 17 years of experience in the luxury hospitality sector, where he held numerous senior leadership positions in the U.S.A, Caribbean and Asia. Steve began his career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, starting at the front desk and rising up through middle management in several cities across the U.S. before joining The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in April 2000 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He held various leadership positions at three distinct Ritz-Carlton hotels before becoming the youngest General Manager in Ritz-Carlton history at the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia property at age 29.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

During Steve’s nine-year tenure as General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, the hotel won numerous awards and accolades, including recognition as the “Best Business Hotel in Malaysia” by Business Asia & CNBC Asia; and a place on Conde Nast Traveler’s exclusive “Gold List.” Travel & Leisure featured the property on their “Top 20 World’s Best Values,” “Greatest Hotels in the World” and “T & L 500” lists. Expedia named the hotel amongst the world’s top 1% on its “Insider Select List,” and the Independent U.K. named the property one of the “Top 5 Butler Hotels in the World.” Perhaps most notably while under Steve’s leadership, the hotel was named “Best Employer in Malaysia” four consecutive times by Hewitt & Associates during their biannual study. This earned him recognition on Human Capital Asia’s “Hot 40—Asia’s H.R. Superstars.” In 2010, Steve was named national “General Manager of the Year” at Malaysia’s Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards gala event.

ADDITIONAL PRACTICE AREAS

In 2011, Steve was elected to the Board of Governors of the American-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), and he has served on the Steering Committee of the U.S. Embassy-based Overseas Security Advisory Committee (OSAC). In addition, he has assisted with the pre-opening of five Ritz-Carlton properties worldwide, including The RitzCarlton, Doha (Qatar) and The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou (China).

PUBLICATIONS AND SPEECHES

Steve is an established and sought-after speaker. He has delivered programs and keynotes on service, culture, and leadership to a range of international companies, including: Citibank, Mercedes-Benz, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, BMW, Prudential, NewYork- Presbyterian Hospital, Volvo, Health Integrated, and Toyota. Steve has previously authored a column on EHotelier.com, the world’s largest online hospitality community, where he shared stories and insights gained during his hotel career.

ACADEMIC AFFILIATIONS

Steve graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, where he is also a member of the Hospitality Management Advisory Board. PERSONAL An avid motorcyclist, Steve lives with his wife and 3 children in Orlando, Florida.

Recent Publications