Robert E. Watson, CHA first began his hotel career as a teenager working under the guidance of his father, Robert Watson, Senior at the renowned Mayo Hotel in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Robert now has over 30 years of experience in hotel management at major properties in Austin, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Dallas, Texas. Robert joined the Hilton Austin in March 2013 and has quickly brought the Blue Energy culture and the "Care, Value, Respect" promise into all aspects of the hotel.
Previously, Robert served as General Manager of the Hilton Omaha, Nebraska’s largest hotel, where he oversaw the hotel’s extensive transformation that included a 150-guest room expansion and new meetings and special events space. Between 2003-2007, he was General Manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tulsa Downtown. Twice during this time, the hotel received the American Hotel & Lodging Association Star of the Industry award as the Outstanding Community Service Hotel of the Year. Robert held similar positions at the DoubleTree by Hilton Tulsa, Warren Place and the Embassy Suites, Tulsa; he was also in management at the Doubletree Lincoln Centre, Dallas and the Camelot Hotel, Tulsa.
Robert has been active in both local and national hospitality organizations and has been recognized for his civic leadership and community service involvement. He is currently serving as a board member for the Austin Hotel & Lodging Association, the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Austin Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee. Additionally, he has held board positions with the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Metropolitan Hospitality Association in Omaha, the Oklahoma Hotel Motel Association, the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, the Omaha Sports Commission and the Nebraska Hotel & Motel Association, to name a few.
When asked what he loves about the Hilton, Robert said, "I have so many favorite things about Hilton that it’s hard for me to pinpoint just one. However, as General Manager of Hilton Austin, the one area that I love to champion is the culture of our hotel: a shared belief among every single team member that they will treat each other, as well as our guests, with Care, Value and Respect. We have other culture initiatives, which every team member will come to embrace, but it all starts with Care, Value and Respect."