Ellen Defuso

Senior Project Manager

With over 30 years of hospitality experience in both FF&E and project management disciplines, Ellen is AOA’s go-to professional for desk-and-chair affairs. Whether it’s FF&E management, procurement, or project management, Ellen is a strategic planner, excellent schedule manager, and scope expert.

After graduating State University of New York Stonybrook, Ellen started her career in L.A. with Hilton Hotels in their purchasing division (HEC/HSM), purchasing lobby furniture, hotel decorations, and other fine points of luxury living. Put simply, she takes care of everything under the kitchen sink – along with the sink itself. From her Hilton hotel days, she took her faucet-and-sink skills to New York as the Director of Renovation at the Hilton New York. After she spent some time directing room renovations across hundreds of Hilton locations, she was promoted to Senior Director of FF&E Management for Hilton Worldwide. Domestic Hiltons, International Hiltons. For Ellen, hotel hearths were – and still are – her home away from home.

After her time with Hilton, Ellen moved on to Project Management for Wyndham Vacations, Senior Director of Project Management for Marriott Vacations, and Director of FF&E for Bluegreen. Ellen’s favorite projects include the Hilton San Diego Convention Hotel; Hilton Grand Vacations in Kingsland, Big Island, Grand Waikikian, Honolulu, and West 57th Street, NY; Bluegreen Fountains in Orlando, Marquee, and New Orleans; and Eilan Resort & Spa in San Antonio. Throughout every project, Ellen has impeccable insight in all aspects of hotel project management. From the first brick, to the first rug, to the first hotel key, she knows how to run a project from conception to completion. For all hotel needs, look no further: Ellen Defuso is the professional you’re looking for.

These days, Ellen uses her hospitality specialty to help build amazing luxury resort experiences for AOA’s clients and guests: desks, chairs, and team management is only the start of the adventure.