Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cepeda

Javier Cepeda

Regional Vice President, LEVEL Furnished Living

In his role as regional vice president of LEVEL Furnished Living, Javier Cepeda leads the opening and overall brand growth strategy for the Downtown Los Angeles development. Overseeing the $200 million, 33-story tower that will open this summer 2015 in the citys South Park District, Mr. Cepeda keeps a keen eye on industry trends and business news to maintain a strong presence in todays competitive landscape. A proven leader with extensive hospitality experience, Mr. Cepeda leads his teams by setting clear expectations, realistic goals, capitalizing on growing market trends and establishing lasting business relationships. A seasoned veteran of the hospitality industry, Mr. Cepeda brings more than 15 years of relevant management, guest services, sales and communications experience to his current position. He previously worked in the operations department at both Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and Four Seasons Resort Whistler before joining the LEVEL Furnished Living team in 2010. Since joining the LEVEL Furnished Living team, Mr. Cepeda has been an integral part of spearheading the opening of their flagship property in Vancouver, Canada and now looks forward to leading the Downtown Los Angeles property to similar success. Colombian born and raised, Mr. Cepeda has also lived in Dominican Republic, Mexico and Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Tourism and Hotel Management from Universidad Externado de Colombia. In 2010, he served as operations supervisor for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the non-profit organization responsible for planning, organizing, financing and staging the Games in Whistler, Canada. He is a 2015 recipient of the Tower of Excellence Award for Individual of the Year from the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA). http://www.stayinglevel.com/los-angeles Please visit http://www.stayinglevel.com for more information.

Mr. Cepeda can be contacted at 213-873-8400 or dtla@stayinglevel.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.