(Courtesy photo)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Hyatt committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Hyatt is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.

In 1986, a young Samanthia Shilo — 90 pounds and "very girly" by her own description — was struggling up "Mount Mother" with a 25-pound pack on her back. She had enlisted with the Army Reserves to take the financial pressure off her family as she pursued her college degree, but now, in Army basic training, her motivation was the pressure she had placed on herself.

"It took me two weeks to climb that hill," Shilo recalls. "But it was more of a mental challenge than anything else. And after you go through that, and rolling over in the mud, and tear gas chambers, there's nothing that you feel like you cannot achieve — absolutely nothing."

The determination and personal discipline Shilo forged to get herself through her Army training are still with her as the director of sales and marketing at Hyatt House Houston/Galleria, an extended stay hotel in a highly competitive hotel market. Shilo says her time in the Army Reserves taught her to stay calm under pressure, manage her time effectively, exercise self-discipline, and relate to people from different cultural backgrounds, skills she now uses daily.

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In August 2000, Gene Roche traded in his combat boots for business suits when he transitioned from the U.S. Air Force to Hyatt, a global hospitality company well-known for its welcoming hotels, resorts and vacation properties.

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