Owner & CEO
Location: Mesa, AZ
When he was 19 years old, Nava Singam left his home country of Malaysia with $50 in his pocket and moved to Flagstaff, where he studied at Northern Arizona University’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
He worked at The Inn, the university’s restaurant, where he worked his way up to general manager, and he followed his calling to the restaurant industry. He joined the Paradise Bakery and Cafe team in 2003 as an assistant manager and worked his way up to director of franchise operations. In 2005, he acquired a Paradise Bakery and Cafe at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. That was the impetus to shift his focus to his own business operations under the name Kind Hospitality.
Kind Hospitality provides food, beverage and quickservice restaurants in airports and street venues. The company aims to offer an elevated dining experience, whether waiting to board a plane or sitting down to a family dinner.
Singam added additional restaurants to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; expanded to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport; became a Panera Bread franchisee opening restaurants in new airports around the country; and acquired the Macayo’s Mexican Food restaurant brand.
Under Singam’s lead, Kind Hospitality seeks exponential growth in the coming years. The company aims to double its current count of locations, particularly within the Macayo’s Mexican Food and Panera Bread airport locations in Arizona and bordering states. Kind Hospitality plans to expand Panera Bread airport locations in airports around the country while acquiring and expanding its portfolio of restaurants.
“We are setting the stage for future growth in the state of Arizona in the hospitality industry and it’s important to continue to provide the very best quality we can in every aspect of what we do — from the ingredients in our food to cleanliness of our restaurants to the caliber of our customer service,” Singam said. “We must always be striving toward how we can become better each and every day. To do so, I continue to educate myself and my team on techniques, technologies and strategies in order to provide our customers with the best experience possible.”
Singam has served on the board of directors for the Child Crisis Center for many years and serves as a member of the Support Sky Harbor Coalition Leadership Circle as well as the Visit Mesa Board. He also serves on the National Advisory Council for the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
He developed the Rama Scholarship, a $120,000 scholarship endowment that helps support first-generation School of Hotel and Restaurant Management students at Northern Arizona University. In 2018, his support was recognized when he was inducted into the university’s W.A. Franke College of Business Hall of Fame.
Nava knows five languages, is fluent in three and he loves badminton, ping pong, darts and soccer.