Jim Houser is executive vice president and chief operating officer at Delaware North, a global leader in hospitality and entertainment.
In this role, he is based at Delaware North’s global headquarters in Buffalo, N.Y., within the Office of the Chief Executive. Houser has responsibility for Delaware North’s business operations around the world, with accountability for driving performance at more than 200 high-profile locations across sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports and travel hubs, and gaming properties.
Prior to his June 2017 appointment to executive vice president and chief operating officer, Houser served as a group president, with oversight of Delaware North’s parks and resorts business, Delaware North Sportservice and Patina Restaurant Group. Before being promoted to the group president role in October 2016, he was president of the parks and resorts business and oversaw Delaware North’s operations in Australia and Asia.
A Delaware North veteran of more than 35 years, Houser began his career as a vendor with Delaware North Sportservice and steadily climbed the ranks to become general manager of the company’s operation at the former Cinergy Field in Cincinnati. He continued to prove that he was an exceptional leader and was promoted to director of labor relations and then chief operating officer of Delaware North Sportservice. In those roles, he managed the division’s operations and its efforts to realize growth potential for concessions, fine dining and retail groups.
Houser’s impact hasn’t just been in operations; his leadership has touched virtually every corner of Delaware North’s business. As vice president of administration – a role he held until 2012 – he oversaw Delaware North’s facilities, supply management, security, culinary and retail departments, as well as its environmental management system, GreenPath®, and its customer service program, GuestPath®. He has also overseen the company’s e-commerce and communications functions.
Prior to his role as vice president of administration, Houser served as vice president of facilities planning. As such, he managed Delaware North’s multimillion-dollar portfolio of global design and construction projects in support of hospitality, food and retail services.
In 2006, Houser received the inaugural President’s Award of Excellence – Delaware North’s highest operational award. At that time, Delaware North President Chuck Moran cited Houser’s unwavering commitment to operational excellence and his ability to support the company’s strategies in a world-class manner.
Houser earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Cincinnati.