Chip Conley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chip Conley
Born (1960-10-31) October 31, 1960 (age 63)
Alma materStanford University[1]
Occupation(s)Author, Founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Modern Elder Academy and Fest300,[2] Former Airbnb Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy,[3] Former Everfest Chief Strategy Officer[4]

Chip Conley (born October 31, 1960) is an American hotelier, hospitality entrepreneur, author, and speaker.

Early life and education[edit]

Conley was born in Orange, California and graduated from the PACE program at Long Beach Polytechnic High School. He received his BA in 1982 and an MBA in 1984 from Stanford University.[1] He received an honorary doctorate from Saybrook University.[5]

In 1987, Conley founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality, where he held the position of CEO for nearly 24 years, creating and managing around 50 boutique hotels. In 2010, he sold his company to Geolo Capital.[6] The last hotel concept he created for the company was The Epiphany in Palo Alto.[7] Conley remains a private owner in many hotel properties and no longer has an operating role in the company.

Conley spoke at the annual TED conference in 2010[8] on creating a business model driven by our need for meaning as outlined by Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and as presented in his book Peak: How Great Companies Get their Mojo from Maslow.[9] Conley's other books include The Rebel Rules: Daring to Be Yourself in Business;[10] Marketing that Matters: 10 Practices to Profit Your Business and Change the World;[11] Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success in Business + in Life;[12] Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder.

In 2013, Conley became Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for Airbnb.[13] and founded Fest300.[2] At Airbnb, he was asked by the three co-founders to help evolve the company into a hospitality company with more than one million hosts in 191 countries.[14] Conley worked closely with CEO Brian Chesky as a mentor and helped to build a bridge to the travel, hotel, and real estate/development/landlord industries.[15] He also conceived and led the annual Airbnb Open.[16] In 2017, he transitioned to the role of Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership.[17]

In 2016, Fest300 was acquired by Everfest, with Conley joining the Everfest leadership team as Chief Strategy Officer on a part-time basis.[4]

In 2018, he founded the Modern Elder Academy (MEA), the world's first "midlife wisdom school" in Baja California Sur. This 3-acre (1.2 ha) oceanfront campus is dedicated to helping students reimagine midlife as a time for learning, growth, and positive transformation through immersive workshops, sabbaticals, and digital programs. Modern Elder Academy focuses on Long Life Learning, and is a mission-driven organization committed to socio-economic diversity, having provided scholarships to 50% of their 2,000 alumni. Graduates receive a certificate in Mindset Management.

In 2021, Modern Elder Academy acquired Saddleback Ranch in Northern New Mexico[18] and set out to grow a collection of MEA Regenerative Communities. Each community will include a MEA wisdom school, residences and a regenerative farm.

Community activism[edit]

Conley founded San Francisco's annual TNDC Celebrity Pool Toss fundraiser, which has raised millions for inner city families in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, where Conley's first hotel, the Phoenix, is located.[19] He also created the annual Hotel Hero Awards that recognize the work of line-level hospitality staff.[20] He served on the Glide Memorial Board for nearly a decade,[21] as well as the boards for the Burning Man Project[22] and the Esalen Institute.[23] He now serves on the board of and the advisory board for the Stanford Center for Longevity.


  • Northern California Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year[24]
  • Bay Area's Most Innovative CEO[25]
  • ISHC Pioneer Award[26]
  • GLIDE Cecil Williams Legacy Award[21]


  • The Rebel Rules: Daring to be Yourself in Business; Simon & Schuster, 2001
  • Marketing that Matters: 10 Practices to Profit Your Business and Change the World; co-authored with Eric Friedenwald-Fishman, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2006
  • Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow; Jossey-Bass, 2007
  • Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success in Business + Life; Simon & Schuster, 2012
  • Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder; Currency, 2018


  1. ^ a b "Stanford Magazine - Article".
  2. ^ a b "Travel To The World's Best Festivals At Fest300". (Press release).
  3. ^ "Airbnb Enlists Former Hotel Exec Chip Conley As Its First Head Of Global Hospitality". 17 September 2013.
  4. ^ a b Calnan, Chris (2016-09-20). "Austin online festival hub buys San Francisco-based competitor". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  5. ^ "Saybrook University Appoints Chip Conley as its first Scholar-Practitioner in Residence". Saybrook University.
  6. ^ "Hyatt Heir Checks Back Into Hotel Industry", The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2010
  7. ^ "Chip Conley: The Power of "Noble Experiments"". Stanford Graduate School of Business. 16 May 2023.
  8. ^ "Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile". TEDTalks. June 21, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  9. ^ Conley, Chip (21 September 2007). Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow: Conley, Chip, Hsieh, Tony: 9780787988616: Books. ISBN 978-0787988616.
  10. ^ Conley, Chip (3 January 2001). The Rebel Rules: Daring to be Yourself in Business: Conley, Chip, Branson, Richard: 9780684865164: Books. ISBN 0684865165.
  11. ^ Conley, Chip; Friedenwald-Fishman, Eric (2006). Marketing That Matters: 10 Practices to Profit Your Business and Change the World (SVN): Conley, Chip, Friedenwald-Fishman, Eric: 9781576753835: Books. ISBN 1576753832.
  12. ^ Conley, Chip (12 February 2013). Emotional Equations: Simple Steps for Creating Happiness + Success in Business + Life: Conley, Chip, Hsieh, Tony: 9781451607260: Books. ISBN 978-1451607260.
  13. ^ Geron, Tomio. "Airbnb Hires Joie de Vivre's Chip Conley As Head Of Hospitality". Forbes.
  14. ^ Carr, Austin (March 17, 2014). "Inside Airbnb's Grand Hotel Plans". Fast Company.
  15. ^ "Meet Airbnb's hospitality guru". Fortune.
  16. ^ Porges, Seth. "This Is The Future Of Airbnb: A Candid Conversation With The Company's Head Of Hospitality". Forbes.
  17. ^ "Airbnb's Chip Conley to Leave Global Head of Hospitality and Strategy Role". Skift. January 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "Modern Elder Academy acquires Saddleback Ranch in New Mexico". 22 March 2021.
  19. ^ "19th Annual TNDC Celebrity Pool Toss Breaks Fundraising Record". Fog City Journal. October 13, 2011.
  20. ^ "Hotel Hero Awards - Hotel Council of San Francisco | San Francisco, CA". Archived from the original on 2016-01-15. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  21. ^ a b "Celebrating Chip Conley". August 18, 2015.
  22. ^ "Board of Directors". Burning Man.
  23. ^ "Board of Trustees | Esalen". Esalen Institute - Big Sur, California.
  24. ^ "Finalists for Northern California's Entrepreneur of the Year(R) Awards Announced -- re> SAN FRANCISCO, May 20 /PRNewswire/ --". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  25. ^ "Bay Area's Most Admired CEO Awards - San Francisco Business Times". Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  26. ^ Net, Hospitality (21 January 2018). "Chip Conley Receives ISHC Pioneer Award". Hospitality Net.

External links[edit]