Your Team Drives Your Company's VALUE--Make it EASY for Your Business to Unlock Their Potential with Ascend!

A premier hospitality talent development company focused on delivering online learning and certificate programs designed to address opportunities for professional growth within organizations.  Retaining great talent is a necessity for any organization to remain competitive, Ascend provides a REAL VALUE proposition to elevate existing talent and transform the way you do business. Let Ascend offer the INSIGHTS that you NEED to unlock the potential of your teams.  Contact us today to schedule a conversation.


Elevating talent with a VALUE proposition!

Creative Solutions

Ascend wants to partner with its clients to structure solutions that bridge the gap between knowledge and application.  We add VALUE by understanding the hospitality business and its deliverables.  By assessing the capabilities of your team compared to the needs of the business, we provide INSIGHT as to where there are gaps that need to be filled.

  • Validating knowledge base and contributions of employees

  • Assessing the knowledge needs of the employee

  • Learning through customized programs designed to address employee need areas

  • Understanding the application of learned concepts in the organization

  • Executing these new skills to achieve professional and organizational growth


Arlene Ramirez


Arlene is a hospitality professional with a unique range of industry experiences, from finance to operations to development and education.  A significant portion of her career was dedicated to working directly in the industry both at the corporate and property levels of management companies, luxury chains and luxury country clubs.  All of this has provided a strong foundation in bridging the gap between education and application.

Within the education field she has been recognized with teaching and service awards.  She has extensive experience in developing assessment analysis, being responsible for the development of reporting at the university college level for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional accrediting agency.

Arlene has served on various boards and committees for hospitality organizations and is frequently called upon to present or author articles on the finance and technology aspects of the industry.

Agnes DeFranco


With thirty years of education experience, Agnes is a chair professor with a strong demonstrated history of working in the areas of higher, executive, and continuing education. Skilled in curriculum design and assessment, career development, coaching, and lecturing, she develops and delivers learning in face-to-face, hybrid, and online environments, including assisting other universities and organizations in developing courses and programs.  Agnes has worked in the food and beverage industry, published five textbooks and over 200 refereed and invited papers, focusing in finance and operations.

Agnes has served on both educational and professional boards, in positions ranging from executive committee members to president/chairperson. She co-chaired a state-wide committee to develop the higher education general education requirements for the State of Texas. She currently serves on the Global Finance Committee of the 12th edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry.


Our Services

Ascend Makes it EASY to INSPIRE Your Employees to Learn, Grow and Enhance Your Business

Meaningful Recognition Programs

With years of experience in assessment management, at Ascend, we combine our insights and skills to transform your processes and strategies into Certification Programs.  These programs are broad in scope, designed to measure competency in a specific role or field.  Recognizing your team's capabilities is a key factor in retention and promotion.

Image by Nick Morrison

Empower Your Team

Looking to develop a specific skill or a knowledge base among your team but not sure how?  Let Ascend help by developing custom instructional programs that align with your specific need. Professional Certificates are designed to provide feedback on mastery of a specific skill.  Certificates can help identify qualified internal candidates, making employee onboarding easy and increasing productivity.


Smart+ Learning

Organizations need a strategy to stay relevant and competitive   Ascend can develop courses that INSPIRE a culture of continuous learning and offer opportunities to explore something new, promoting employee retention.

Business Meeting

"It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between 9 and 5.  It's whether or not our work fulfills us."  -Malcolm Gladwell (Bestselling Author)

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