ChangeMakers Podcast: Kris Intress, Founder and CEO of Rock Springs Retreat Center – From Hospitality to Health, Finding Balance and Hope

Host Jeremy C. Park talks with ChangeMaker, Kris Intress, who shares her personal story and many life and business lessons learned as an entrepreneur, actor, Army Reservist, former CEO of a global luxury hotel company, and now Founder and CEO of Rock Springs Retreat Center, a 200-acre pastoral resort of excitement and adventure just 40 minutes north of Nashville, Tennessee.

During the interview, Kris describes how she left her hometown in Wisconsin and became an entrepreneur at an early age, how the military helped prepare her for success, how she shattered glass ceilings and led a global luxury hotel company, some of the leadership lessons learned while leading the global company and how she applies them still today, how losing her mother became a catalyst to creating Rock Springs Retreat Center, and much more.


About Kris Intress:
Rock Springs Retreat Center was founded by Kris Intress, a mother, entrepreneur, Army Reservist, and former CEO of a global luxury hotel company.

Kris started working in her teens. By 17, she was already an entrepreneur, running a restaurant, teaching French, and working several jobs. After a few years she followed the family tradition of military service. She joined the Army with the goal of getting into healthcare through the Army’s pharmacy program. She later met her son’s father in Scotland and together they opened several restaurants and nightclubs.

When she returned to the United States to raise her son, she went back to school to complete her college degree, which led to an interest in theater. After her first play, she was spotted by a casting director who invited her to Los Angeles to audition for a movie. Los Angeles agreed with her, and she worked on a variety of film, television, and theater projects both in front of and behind the camera. In between projects, she started working for and running a medical company, which ultimately inspired her to get an MBA.

With her MBA in hand, she worked as the Director of Sales and Marketing for a large international healthcare company. She then pivoted to hospitality when she saw an opportunity to invest in and turnaround hospitality software company. Growing the organization from representing 700 properties in the US to 7000 properties internationally. After selling the company, she was asked to be the CEO of WorldHotels, a global luxury hotel company.

As a corporate executive that struggled to find time for her own health, she realized her career was taking over the need to prioritize her wellbeing. She watched her parents struggle with obesity their entire lives. After Kris lost her mother, she decided to help people take control of and transform their lives.

When creating Fit Farm at Rock Springs, Kris was inspired by her husband’s family, generations of farmers. Farm life provided natural opportunities to eat fresh foods and be active. She created a place where everyone could experience eating well, being active and experiencing the natural beauty of eliminating the noise around us.

On top of her already impressive career, Kris is a certified personal trainer and a former athlete. She has an MBA from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.

Visit to learn more and to connect with Kris Intress.

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