Alumna a blooming success
With a business approach as rare and varied as her favorite flower, hotel and travel expert and CEO Stacy Dreyfus (CU ’95) has grown her passion for travel and luxury into Orchid Resorts & Escapes — one of the most unique and exclusive sales, marketing and partnership agencies in the world.
Like her company and its namesake, the orchid, there is nothing typical about Stacy Dreyfus. As a hotel and travel expert and CEO of Orchid Resorts & Escapes, Dreyfus is as energetic, creative and passionate about Clemson University as she is her extraordinary jet-setting lifestyle.
About 10 days out of every month, Dreyfus jets from her home base in New York City to Great Britain (London), Italy, Spain, Chicago, Hawaii, Miami and Los Angeles — building lasting partnerships and promoting exotic resorts and destinations throughout the world. It’s a far cry from Ohio.
Born in Cincinnati, Dreyfus moved with her family to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when she was only 2 years old. There, among its cultural diversity, she grew up in a thriving atmosphere of international business, travel and tourism. It would seem that with such a backdrop, Dreyfus’ career path would be predestined, but not in her mind.
“My freshman year at Clemson I had no idea what I wanted to do,” Dreyfus said. “I began as a liberal arts major. However, because of the variety of classes offered, Clemson helped me realize my passion.”
Dreyfus enrolled at Clemson in 1991. She had never been to its campus, but as a child she went to summer camp in North Carolina. “I always loved the mountains and the seasons,” she said. “And as an avid football fan and cheerleader, I was impressed with Clemson’s sports culture. Great football, baseball, tennis and even rowing — it had so much to offer!”
Among her fondest memories at Clemson was her affiliation with the Psi Kappa Chapter of Chi Omega and being a little sister to the Sigma Chi Fraternity, where she was on the Sweetheart Court. Friends made then remain among her closest friends today.
“I went to Clemson not knowing what to expect,” Dreyfus said. “I didn’t know anyone, and the Greek family welcomed me. I made friends for life.”
By the end of her freshman year, Dreyfus had found her niche in Clemson University’s travel and tourism program. That, combined with Clemson’s offerings in art history, marketing and drama, contributed, Dreyfus says, to helping her become a “better-educated, better-rounded individual.”
In order to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in travel and tourism, she had to complete a semester internship. Unlike most college students who intern between their junior and senior years, Dreyfus chose to return to Fort Lauderdale in her last semester and intern at the Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. It was a decision that proved to be life changing for her.
“I thought, if I like it and they like my work, maybe they’ll hire me,” Dreyfus said.
And that’s exactly what they did. Gaining experience in public relations, convention services and hotel sales, Dreyfus promoted the City of Fort Lauderdale and its hotels to clientele in the New York market — enticing them to choose Fort Lauderdale over destinations such as Miami, Palm Beach or even California. Traveling frequently to the Big Apple, Dreyfus subsequently moved there, and her career blossomed.
Working in the hotel and hospitality industry in New York and Chicago, she was associated with such prestigious groups as Le Parker Meridien, Ian Schrager Hotels and Hotel Gansevoort. While working for Ian Schrager, Dreyfus was dedicated to the opening of the stylish Hudson Hotel, and she later launched the New York Global Sales Office for Ian Schrager Hotels. In addition, Dreyfus held the position of director of sales and marketing at Hotel Gansevoort in Manhattan.
Then, in late 2007, she founded Orchid Resorts & Escapes — a showcase for her creativity and expertise in strategic market positioning. Created as a whimsical, boutique hotel brand representing extraordinary properties and destinations, Orchid now has offices in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles.
“An orchid flower is rare, exquisite and highly prized,” Dreyfus said. “Every orchid is different in shape and size. And that’s how our properties are. They are all high-end, four- and five-star properties with a spa. Each is independently or privately owned with something unique to offer.”
Currently, the company’s portfolio features 22 elegant and exclusive properties and destinations. Each time a client is added to the Orchid family, Dreyfus personally delivers them an exquisite orchid.
“As our relationship grows, so does the flower,” Dreyfus said.
Her inspiration and the seeds for her success took root at Clemson, and now Dreyfus has cultivated her love of travel and people into a career that continues to grow. In addition to her CEO post at Orchid Resorts & Escapes, Dreyfus is the travel correspondent for Jetset Extra (Los Angeles). She is on the editorial board of hotelexecutive.com, and she will be guest speaker at the World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress in Illinois later this year.
From college campus to creative CEO, Clemson alumna Stacy Dreyfus is world class! Congratulations, Stacy!