BDC Small Business Week is a national celebration of Canadian entrepreneurs and their contribution to Canada’s economy. Events held during the week bring together entrepreneurs—and prospective entrepreneurs—at conferences, workshops, luncheons and trade fairs across Canada. Throughout October we’ll be profiling a few of Red Deer’s business owners.
Shazma Charania heads Zainul & Shazma Holdings Ltd, a family owned and operated business with the goal of bringing superior hotel and restaurant experiences to Alberta. Shazma proudly operates ZS Holdings as a family business along with her husband, mother, father and they are mindful to do this with a corporate culture Each and every one of their properties bares the mark of their passion and dedication to excellence in the hospitality industry.
Born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta, Shazma’s was introduced to the hospitality industry early by her parents who founded ZS Holdings in 1983. Shazma has always had an active role in her family’s business since a young age. She began helping in banquets, assisting at the front desk, and pursued an active role in the company after completing an MBA. With a combination of experience, education and hunger to succeed, she was the right fit to the family’s succession plan.
Shazma has since become the President of ZS Holdings and takes great pride in building upon her parent’s legacy. As president of ZS Holdings, Shazma has become a driving force behind Alberta’s growing hospitality industry. She has had a strong presence within ZS Holdings for well over a decade and has played a major role in expanding her family business from two hotels to seven including Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express properties in Hinton, Edson, and Red Deer. ZS Holdings also runs two restaurants including the award-winning Boulevard Restaurant & Lounge and is soon about to open a new Staybridge Suites property in the north end of Red Deer.
Shazma lives and breathes hospitality, and her passion for the industry can be seen in everything that she does. You can see Shazma’s dedication to the city and province with the family’s flagship property, Holiday Inn & Suites Red Deer South, which received developer of the year award in 2009 and 2011 from IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group- the umbrella company of Holiday Inns). Each of the Red Deer, Hinton and Edson properties have been designed with the market in mind. For example: Holiday Inn & Suites Red Deer features amenities such as meeting spaces, private boardrooms, a large banquet center, and a full-service restaurant, which makes it a top choice for business meetings, sports teams, and event gatherings. This has helped turn Red Deer into a central hub for Alberta by attracting out of town guests to host conferences, meetings, and other events within our province.
Community involvement has always been one of Shazma’s primary responsibilities and ambitions. Shazma continually gives back to the community through donations and support of organizations that have proven to provide continuous benefits to the public, with involvement in events like the Festival of Trees, Aspire, United Way Central Alberta, and the Rotary Club, to name a few.
Shazma is a daughter, sister, mother of 2 girls and a wife and she is so proud to have been given the opportunity to lead ZS Holdings.