Focus on what is important, not urgent

Brian Duskin a.k.a. “Big Guy” or “Okie”

It’s not often that someone knows what they want to be when they grow up at 16, but that’s exactly what happened to Brian. Working as a bellman as a teenager, Brian developed a love for working with guests and realized that the hospitality industry is where he belonged. Today, after over 35 years in the business, Brian says meeting new people is still one of his favorites things about the job. With a friendly handshake and welcoming smile, Brian relishes the opportunity to meet new associates, colleagues, and clients on a daily basis. Another one of his favorite things? The challenge. Well, perhaps it’s not as much “the challenge” as it is solving a challenging problem that Brian revels in, citing the opportunity to partner with smart people on tough projects is one of the main reasons he wanted to join Evolution Hospitality.

A mentor in work and in life, Brian has been married since 1991 and says that one of his goals is to ensure that his children have a broad perspective on life and they inherit his thirst for learning about other cultures, their food, and art. He and his wife, Anne, have raised their children to appreciate the basic gifts in life, with an understanding that there are no shortcuts to success. Of course, the best part of working hard is being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor, which Brian does with zeal. To escape the noise of everyday life, Brian enjoys four wheeling in the desert – a place where he can live completely in the moment while escaping into the tranquility of nature. When he can’t make it out to the desert, Brian finds his escape in music, specifically jazz. If you don’t know who Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Tyner McCoy, or Wayne Shorter are, just spend a few minutes with Brian and he’ll tell you. In fact, he may even let you borrow one of his records so you can experience their music for yourself.

Admitting that in our industry we often get lost playing “whack-a-mole,” Brian’s favorite Guiding Principle is “Focus on what is important, not urgent.” He believes that addressing the foundational items above everything else will lead to long-term success. Clearly, he’s right.


  • Evolution Hospitality, 2016 - Present
    - VP, Operations
  • The Procaccianti Group (TPG), 2011 - 2016
    - Regional VP, Operations
  • Pacifica Host Hotels, 2006 - 2011
    - VP, Operations
  • Kintetsu America, 1999 - 2004
    - VP
  • Westmont Hospitality Group, 1991 - 1999
    - General Manager