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Final Five Teams Vie for $50,000 prize in "She Has a Deal"

Only in its second year, the innovative She Has a Deal competition, has created a movement to inspire women to get involved in hotel development. She Has a Deal (SHaD) not only educates women about the pathways to hotel ownership—teaching the skills to successfully source, analyze and close hotel real estate investment deals—the annual competition actually gives teams of women the chance to compete for $50,000 in hotel deal equity!

Participants in the second "She Has a Deal" Competition

The finalists, in alphabetical order:

  1. Celeste Companies: Emma Spring from Washington State University

  2. Eden Investment Management LLC: Angel Deng and Kayleen Fan from Cornell University

  3. Emerald Investments: Lexi Effron, Keslie Easton and Nikki Loseff from San Diego State University

  4. PAIZA GROUP LLC: Sana Mahmood from Zigurat Global Institute of Technology

  5. PEN Investment: Polina Shavrina, Nadia Cismesia and Emma Toppi from Michigan State University

The teams, who started the She Has a Deal process in December 2020, completed more than 12 hours of intensive hotel investment education to learn how to source, evaluate and raise capital for a real hotel deal.

During the preliminary judging round, participants pitched their hotel investment acquisition or development plans live on Zoom to a judging panel of top-level hotel business executives, entrepreneurs and investors. Pitches included ground-up construction, adaptive reuse and conversions of hotels in markets ranging from Silicon Valley and Seattle to Miami and Chantilly, Va.

"Competing on the Emerald Investments team for SHaD has been nothing short of life-changing. Lexi Effron, Nikki Loseff and I didn't even know each other before becoming a pitch team, and we've grown so much together. We all had prior operations experience, but becoming hotel investors was nowhere on our radar. It's now a reality for us thanks to Tracy and the rest of the SHaD Squad! We can't wait for the next steps ahead of us," said Keslie Easton, finalist representing the Emerald Investments team from San Diego State University.

“I signed up for She Has a Deal to bridge the gap between where I currently stand in my career and my dream of becoming a developer. I knew that knowledge was the key to this success, but the right education in the development space was hard to find. I got everything I wanted from SHaD plus more. I know there is nothing I can’t accomplish with the fearless SHaD squad on my side,” said Sana Mahmood, finalist, who also is pursuing a Masters in Global BIM Management at Zigurat Global Institute of Technology.

She Has a Deal founder, Tracy Prigmore of TLTsolutions, said about the virtual competition, “I continue to be inspired and impressed by the quality of the pitches. I know how hard these women have worked on their projects, and to watch them put what they learned into action gives me confidence that our industry will see more women-led projects come to fruition in the future.”

Tracy went on to say, “Our founding sponsors, Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International, continue to demonstrate a deep commitment to diversifying the ownership of their brands. Their support, and the support of all our sponsors, make it clear that the hotel business is moving in the right direction. After a challenging year, it gives me hope that our industry has come together to become more diverse and inclusive on the investment side of the business, which is the mission of She Has a Deal.

If you are in the Washington DC area, tickets are still available to the final pitch competition on June 5 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. The competition will be followed by an awards and networking luncheon where the participants will be celebrated, and inspired by guest speaker President of Marriott Stephanie Linnartz. For more information, visit


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