Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Leutwyler

Ric Leutwyler

CEO, EventSpark

Founder. Servant Leader. Innovation Enthusiast. Ric Leutwyler is someone who has worn many hats - and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mr. Leutwyler is passionate about making a difference and tapping into the full potential of the people around him. From small cubicles to corner offices, the phrase - “Leadership is Action, Not Position” - has always been a part of his workspace and his leadership style.

Much of his time is focused on strategy, innovation and the engagement of team members, customers and partners in finding new ways to create lasting value. Extensive experience with technology firms like AT&T, Pegasus Solutions, SkyTouch Technology and EventSpark, combined with more than 20 years of leadership roles within Cendant (Wyndham Worldwide), Best Western and Utell Hotels & Resorts provides him with a deep understanding of the technology needs of the hospitality industry. The opportunity to travel and work abroad in more than 30 countries has created an understanding of the complexities and benefits of operating from a global perspective.

Mr. Leutwyler has served on the board of several philanthropic organizations including his current role as board member for Orchard: Africa. To support social good on a broad level, he recently founded Philanthropegie – an organization dedicated to helping individuals, organizations and nonprofits achieve their philanthropic goals.

Mr. Leutwyler can be contacted at 602-723-0019 or ric.leutwyler@gmail.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.