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Photography by C.B. Schmelter / Dynamic Group Regional Director of Sales and Marketing Jonathan Armstrong, left, Dynamic Group President and CEO Roshan Amin, center, and Amin's business partner Rama E. unload a meal from Rodizio Grill for the workers at CHI Memorial in May 2020.

"Heads in beds."

If you work in the hotel business, that's your mantra.

Jonathan Armstrong III, 37, is an ultra-articulate, highly educated hospitality industry manager, but his job boils down to four simple word: Putting heads in beds.

Fortunately, Armstrong, who is regional sales and marketing director for Dynamic Group Management, a small but growing hotel chain, is very good at his job.

His company is poised for growth. It will build three of the four new hotels scheduled to open in the Chattanooga area over the next year, Armstrong says. And Armstrong is champing at the bit to drive business to the new properties in the East Ridge, Hixson and Hamilton Place areas.

Armstrong is based at the Holiday Inn and Suites on Chestnut Street, but he has sales responsibilities across the Dynamic Group's existing properties.

"(The job) is about building relationships, selling myself, selling this hotel and selling Chattanooga," Armstrong says.

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Photography by Troy Stolt / Jonathan Armstrong III stands inside the lobby of Holiday Inn and Suites downtown in October.

The area native grew up on Lookout Mountain, seven houses down from the Incline Railway. During the busy tourist seasons, he would set up a lemonade stand outside his house to sell cold drinks to visitors.

He was raised by a Southern-born mother who believed in polished manners and treating guests as if they were family.

"Frankly, it's Southern hospitality," Armstrong says. "There's no other way to put it. And I'm proud of it."

As he got older, Armstrong cleaned up around a local carriage company so he would be allowed to grab onto the carriages while riding his inline skates. He also worked at the Incline Railway where he tried to make perfectly sculpted, soft-serve ice cream cones.

You could say hospitality got into his blood at an early age.

"I've been heavily active in the tourism industry in Chattanooga since I was a little tyke," he says.

Armstrong has also seen the industry grow. He played in the Chattanooga Choo Choo courtyard as a kid, and remembers seeing the angular outline of the Tennessee Aquarium add to the Chattanooga skyline in the 1990s.

By the time he graduated from the Baylor School and was off to college, he decided to major in hospitality and tourism management at the University of South Carolina. He later earned an Executive MBA at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

His first professional job was as project coordinator at the Vincit Group, a company that specializes in food safety and sanitation. After 10 years at that company, he was recruited to Dynamic Group Management several years ago with the promise that the company was positioning itself to grow.

Rooted in the community and ready for growth in his day job, Armstrong began to spread his wings into civic work. After a stint with a United Way leadership group, he became active in Rotoract, a young-adult adjunct of the Rotary International, where he helped young interns from Howard High School participate in an outdoor environmentally focused work group that builds trails and clears brush on the side of Lookout Mountain.

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Photography by Troy Stolt / Jonathan Armstrong III stands inside the lobby of Holiday Inn and Suites downtown in October.

Jonathan Armstrong III

* Age: 37

* Hometown: Lookout Mountain

* Job: Regional Sales and Marketing Director for Dynamic Group Management

* Hobbies: Golf

* Family: Wife, Tiffany; son, Jonathan

A past-president of Rotoract, Armstrong is now one of the youngest members of the Chattanooga Rotary Club.

Roshan Amin, president and chief executive of Dynamic Group, recently announced that his company will build new TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotels in Hixson and East Ridge. Also, an Elements by Westin property is planned for Shallowford Road near Hamilton Place Mall.

"A lot of selling a hotel is prospecting new business that will come to the area," says Armstrong, noting that he scans news reports for announcement about new construction projects in the area. With construction projects come workers in need of accommodations, he says.

"Three properties coming on board by Q4 of 2022 is going to be the biggest test of my career," he says.

The pandemic is still denting business in the hotel industry, Armstrong says. At points during the last 18 months it's been all hands on deck, he says. He has even pitched in to strip sheets in rooms at the Holiday Inn and Suites.

In short, Armstrong does whatever it takes to keep heads in beds.

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