Elaina M. Morris is the CEO, president, and co-founder of Ascend Hospitality Group (AHG), the Pacific Northwest’s premier hospitality company. As an accomplished business owner, innovator, and community leader with over 20 years of experience developing concepts and creating value in various industries, Elaina has launched several local businesses in the hospitality sector, including WiggleWorks Kids and AHG, with an award-winning, flagship restaurant, Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi, in Bellevue. Elaina also serves as trustee for the Washington Hospitality Association’s Education Foundation, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Rainier Athletes, and Samena Club. She is also a member of YPO Seattle.
While education and youth services are focal points for her philanthropic work, Elaina is also an advocate for women and BIPOC leaders in the restaurant industry and beyond. As a BIPOC woman herself, she firmly believes in amplifying these voices, placing them in positions of leadership, and ultimately, helping put them on a direct route to success.
In the aftershock of the pandemic, Elaina saw an issue with hiring in the hospitality industry and quickly pushed forward new comprehensive benefits to both her full-and part-time employees — including paid time off for hourly employees, paid parental leave, and other benefits that far exceed industry standards. Elaina is dedicated to empowering her 600+ employees to push the boundaries of their capabilities, encouraging them to forge their own career paths within the company