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 city’s South Park District, Mr. Cepeda keeps a keen eye on industry trends and business news to maintain a strong presence in today’s 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 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.