Jo Fischer, wife of Ed Fischer for 71 glorious years, was a lifelong supporter of hospitality and THLA (formerly the Texas Hotel/Motel Association).
In the late 1950’s the hotel industry in Texas was booming and one of the first new glamour hotels to open was the Statler Hilton in downtown Dallas.
Following graduation from West Texas University, Jo applied for and landed the personnel position at Hilton Corp, admittedly not knowing a busman from a Sous Chef, which she thought was “Soup Chef”. This was her introduction to the world of “Four-and Five Star” hotels and a longstanding relationship with THLA.
Although inexperienced in this new field, Jo had a staff of approximately 1,400 employees ready for the new hotel’s opening and for Conrad Hilton’s grand party with Hollywood celebrities. The Statler Hilton management, as well as the executives of THLA, were more than willing to help this enthusiastic newcomer soak up as much information as possible about the world of professional hospitality.
Following her position with the Statler Hilton, Jo was asked to become the Resident Manager of the Adolphus Hotel. As a young girl growing up in Amarillo, it was her dream to work in the Adolphus and their Century Room.
Years later, Jo accepted the position of Corporate Personnel Director for the five- star Fairmont Hotels. Here she found a different challenge – finding and hiring professional chefs and waiters from Europe, many of whom would later populate the new upscale restaurants that sprung up in Dallas.
Following her tenure with Fairmont Hotels, Jo set off on her own and established the Texas Hotel/Motel Personnel Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping promote more personnel offices in the fast-growing hotel industry of Texas.
Through her many contacts, Jo helped guide and train new managers and helped many hotel managers, chefs, and waiters relocate to new positions to the delight of local hoteliers. Jo never charged for these services. She also did consulting.
In appreciation for her tireless dedication, the hotel industry established university scholarships in her name at the University of Houston, Texas Tech University, and North Texas University. A person with remarkable “people skills”, she was fully at ease with a busboy, dishwasher, U.S. Senator, and a future President of the United States, and had many encounters with each.
New acquaintances soon felt they were with an old friend. Her intellect, charm, sense of humor, instant smile, and laughter were impossible to resist. On December 1, 2017, Jo passed away at the age of 94, leaving an incredible story of what anyone in the hotel industry can achieve.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and make your magnificent mark in hospitality!!! The sky is the limit!