A passion for people

How Eileen Morgan, BS ’86, landed her dream job

Eileen Morgan, chief human resources officer at Delaware North.

Growing up around her family’s CPA firm, Eileen Morgan, BS ’86, developed interests in accounting and human resources — and at the UB School of Management she got to explore them both. 

“What I appreciated most about UB was the diversity and the team atmosphere,” says Morgan, who now serves as chief human resources officer at Delaware North. “That’s the way of business — you’ll never get anything done unless you can work on teams and understand you each have a common goal. After working with people from all over the world, I was inspired to know that I can go anywhere and be successful.”

After earning her bachelor’s in accounting, Morgan went to work for R.A. Mercer & Co., the firm her father founded, and another regional accounting firm, but soon realized public accounting wasn’t for her. In 1987, she joined the internal audit department at Delaware North, often traveling to company properties around the country to complete her work.

“My experiences at UB made me look forward to travel as an opportunity, as opposed to being afraid of it,” she says. “I enjoy meeting people from different places. Every property, every place you go has its own unique local culture.”

After more than three years, Morgan left the company and Buffalo to relocate with her husband, first to Binghamton and later to Cincinnati. Along the way, she also made the jump to human resources — an instant fit for her personality and career goals. In 2001, after moving back to the Queen City, she returned to Delaware North as director of compensation and benefits and a human resource business partner to the company’s travel hospitality services subsidiary.

“People are the most valuable asset any company has, so it’s easy to see the direct value you provide in human resources, especially in the hospitality industry,” she says. “Every day, I’m problem-solving, whether I’m working through technical challenges, organization issues or financial aspects with benefits and compensation.”

Today, Morgan oversees human resources for the 102-year-old company, a global leader in hospitality and food service with 55,000 employees at 200 properties and 300 retail locations across the globe. In her 16-year tenure, Morgan is most proud of her work in talent strategy and succession planning, including supporting the creation of a new executive vice president level in the organization.

Through her work with the company’s extensive internship program, she’s worked with students and graduates from dozens of institutions. She says LeaderCORE™, the School of Management’s leadership development program that runs throughout the entire MBA program, helps UB MBA grads stand out from their peers and make an impact in the workplace.

“LeaderCORE graduates think more about how teamwork, diversity and communication influence their ability to contribute and succeed,” she says. “In an MBA program anywhere else, there isn’t the focus and practice, the rigor and diligence, around developing a personal leadership approach, emotional intelligence and strong communication skills — things that are emphasized in LeaderCORE.”

Also active in the Buffalo community, Morgan has volunteered for more than a decade with the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County and Every Person Influences Children (EPIC). And, while she loves spending weekends with her husband and two grown children, she also looks forward to each workweek and her “role of a lifetime.”

“I get to work on people things every day in a business that has strong values around service, community and integrity,” she says. “We help people have fun — how could that not be a dream job?”

Written by Matthew Biddle