Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Powell

Stephen Powell

Senior Vice President, IHG Worldwide Sales

Stephen Powell serves as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). IHG has nine hotel brands, over 161 million guest annually, 688,517 rooms in over 4700 hotels located in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. Mr. Powell’s key responsibilities include the creation of a unified sales platform for IHG as a worldwide company with global customers and development of a common way of delivering the IHG brand proposition through a consistent sales experience. Mr. Powell joined InterContinental Hotels Group in December 2003 as Vice President of Sales, UK & Ireland and was soon promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for EMEA where he was instrumental in linking brands and sales together to drive tangible business results. Since 2007, Mr. Powell has served in his current role as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales. He leads a team of professionals that has implemented solutions and programs, such as sales force automation, that serve customer needs and drive results for IHG. Mr. Powell has over 35 years of experience in the hotel industry, receiving recognition with a number of awards for industry leadership. He graduated from the University of Texas and has worked in various senior positions for a number of companies in the US. He was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts – North America and Sales Director for Loews Hotels in America. He has also established global sales teams for hospitality industry software companies, namely PlanSoft Corporation and Certain Software. In April 2013 The Convention Industry Council (CIC) announced that Mr. Powell was amongst five meeting leaders to receive the highest honor in the meetings industry. The inductees into the Hall represent influential leaders who have shaped the industry over a lifetime of accomplishments and whose contributions have left an indelible impression on the industry. Mr. Powell was officially inducted into CIC’s Hall of Leaders in October 2013. Mr. Powell is a former President of the Site International Foundation and a former International President of Meeting Professionals International. He has also held the title of MPI's Supplier of the Year. Mr. Powell has served on committees and boards including the American Society of Association Executives, Hospitality Sales Management Association International, Convention Industry Council, Meeting Professionals International, Site International and the Institute of Directors. He participates in public speaking at industry events and has published several articles on industry trends on sales and marketing issues.

Mr. Powell can be contacted at 770-604-2000 or stephen.powell@ihg.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.