York College Recognizes Michael Mueller '90 with 2021 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Michael Mueller ’90
President of Super 8 by Wyndham Hotels
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
The skills I developed during my time at York College gave me a solid foundation to launch my career in business. Even though I earned my MBA at another university, I still feel strongly my York College undergraduate degree was the most valuable springboard to professional success.
For over two decades, Michael “Mike” Mueller ’90 has worked his way up the business career ladder with Super 8 by Wyndham Hotels, a subsidiary of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. “I have been blessed to work at a company for 21 years that embraces creativity, rewards a strong work ethic and develops its employees to take on responsibilities outside of their formal education. I have had amazing opportunities to work overseas and run diverse business units,” he says.
Mueller’s dedication to his work and his outstanding achievements with Super 8 by Wyndham Hotels are what make him this year’s recipient of the York College of Pennsylvania’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. This Award recognizes exceptional achievement in either a career or community service.
Creativity has been an interest of Mueller’s ever since he was a student at York College. One course that stood out to him was Advertising with Professor Lewis Small. He “made it fun, incredibly interesting, and most importantly, made me believe that creativity has a place in a professional environment,” says Mueller. He leans on creativity in his business today to help make Super 8 stand out among the competition. It’s a “sea of beige out there with economy hotels,” and Super 8’s distinctive yellow-and-red signs help to catch the eye of budget-savvy travelers. Mueller has pushed for the hotels to have bold designs and to reflect local flavors to add to the brand’s strong reputation and reliability when it comes to affordable accommodation.
Mueller grew up as one of 12 children. After his father passed away in 1995, he helped his mother to raise his siblings. “With few resources we were able to keep her home, send 11 children to college and see 9 out of 12 earn post-graduate degrees,” says Mueller. “I needed to manage my resources, so I could get the best out of college, if I put the best into it.”
To Mueller, mentors are one of the most important and beneficial keys to success, but in his view, asking for mentorship isn’t enough. One of his early supervisors with Super 8 advised him to “earn a mentor.” He didn’t realize at the time what that meant, “but what he meant was that I shouldn’t seek a mentor to advance my career,” says Mueller. “It meant I should work diligently to earn the respect of many senior leaders, which would result in someone guiding my professional development and advancement.” Happily, that is exactly what happened.