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Bhavana Sontakay Boggs ’86 named vice president and senior counsel of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company recently appointed Bhavana Sontakay Boggs ’86 vice president and senior counsel of the hotel chain’s legal department. Over the past several years, she has served as a primary legal adviser to the company on a broad range of labor and employment matters.

“What I really enjoy about my job is that there is no such thing as a typical day,” she says. “One moment, I can be negotiating a contract for a restaurant concept with a celebrity chef, and the next moment reviewing a press release announcing a new spa at one of our hotels. I negotiate and draft contracts for our hotels, clubs, and residences and provide them with legal advice on operational issues. I also work closely with our marketing and brand teams on new initiatives.”

Boggs earned her J.D. in 1991 from Dickinson School of Law, where she was comments editor of the Dickinson Law Review. She practiced labor and employment law with firms in Delaware and Washington, D.C. and was associate litigation counsel for labor and employment for MCI Communications Corporation. She joined Marriott Law Department’s labor and employment law group in 1999 and was promoted to vice president and senior counsel there in 2001.

“I am proud to be with a fabulous brand and work with a terrific group of professionals who are committed to excellence,” she says. “I find that to be incredibly rewarding.”

Her undergraduate years taught her how to communicate effectively with various groups of people, a skill she exercises on a daily basis at Ritz-Carlton.

“The liberal arts education I received at Lafayette provided me with a solid foundation to think analytically and build relationships with business clients,” she says. “The diverse courses I took as an international affairs major have provided an excellent basis to work for a global brand and company.”

Maryann Valiulis helped Boggs find the learning environment that best suited her, not only as an undergraduate but in the practice of law as well.

“Professor Maryann Valiulis was a role model,” she recalls. “Her passion for teaching combined with her high expectations made her courses interesting and challenging. I’ve come to realize that’s the type of environment in which I learn and contribute most effectively, even now in my professional life.”

Even 20 years after graduation, Boggs still maintains the friendships she began on campus.

“My friends from Lafayette will always be among my closest friends, and I always look forward to our get-togethers at least once or twice a year,” she says. “I also try to attend Lafayette functions in my area and keep abreast of news and information about the College.”

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