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Simplicity and accessibility are at the core of our philosophy for every course and professional development seminar we offer. We deeply value presenting complex information in a clear and non-intimidating manner. Our belief in the significance of simplicity stems from the understanding that learners possess diverse ways of processing knowledge. Guided by Carl Rogers' humanistic approach, we embrace the uniqueness of each individual's learning style and come prepared with multiple examples and approaches to ensure seamless knowledge transfer for every learner. At Ascend, we are dedicated to making learning an enjoyable and enriching experience for all.


Arlene Ramirez

Meet Arlene, Ascend's President and Founder. She has two decades of expertise in hospitality industry finance, operations, and development and has held senior roles in luxury hotels, clubs, and management companies. Pursuing a doctoral degree in the Instructional Systems Design and Technology program at Sam Houston State University. Arlene's expertise extends to her role as a Global Past President of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and leadership positions at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).  A respected voice in both industry and academia, Arlene's contributions as an author and speaker span hospitality and educational events.

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Agnes DeFranco Ed.D.

Meet Agnes DeFranco, the Co-Founder of Ascend. Holding the distinguished Conrad N. Hilton Chair at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership, Agnes is an esteemed Professor and seasoned expert. With an extensive research portfolio encompassing accounting, finance, technology, education, and development, she has garnered recognition as a Global President and Paragon awardee of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Agnes' contributions include over 120 refereed articles, numerous non-refereed publications, and co-authorship of eight textbooks.

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