Hospitality Veteran Retires from Active Duty

Published January 13th, 2021

In May of 1980, Gaines Sturdivant began his career with MMI Hospitality Group (MMI) as a management trainee.  For the past 32 years, he has served selflessly as President/CEO of MMI, formerly known as Mississippi Management, Inc. following the lead of Earle Jones, MMI’s co-founder and initial CEO.  
The time has flown by quickly and much has changed during his term.   Today, MMI is comprised of a hotel development and management company as well as a contract food service business.  Collectively, these divisions have provided millions of comfortable room nights and enriching meals to guests across the Southeast.  Gaines Sturdivant shares, “It has been both a pleasure and honor to serve in an organization that impacts the lives of so many.  Hospitality whether in a hotel or food service establishment is unique in that it allows for so many personal encounters with our team members and our guests.”  
Beyond his responsibilities to his MMI team members, Gaines has influenced the greater industry serving as Chairman of the Board of Intercontinental Hotel Group’s Owners Association, a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Management Council and various hotel franchise advisory committees.  Incoming CEO Micajah Sturdivant notes, “Gaines’ legacy with MMI and these national platforms is one of inspiration.  He has left us all with increased morale, belief in the importance of our work in every capacity, and the desire to continue to go above and beyond our calls of duty to serve others.”    

As the hospitality industry continues to work its way through the COVID era, Gaines will remain as Chairman of the Board of MMI.  “Though these are unusual economic times, they are also exciting,” Gaines stated in speaking about how MMI is positioned well for the future.  Speaking of the new leadership to carry on his work at MMI, Gaines stated, “There will be many opportunities, and I am certain MMI will continue to be an industry leader and find success in everything it does.”