Editorial Board   Guest Author

Prof. O'Halloran

Robert M. O'Halloran

Professor & Director, School of Hospitality Leadership, East Carolina University

Robert M. O'Halloran is a professor and currently the Director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University. He was previously Director of the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management at the University of Memphis. He has also served in faculty and held administrative positions at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Professor O'Halloran teaches courses in planning and development, financial feasibility and food and beverage operations. He was a pre-pilot instructor for the popular Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) program jointly offered through ICHRIE, Smith Travel Research and AH&LA.

His hospitality industry background includes management and training positions with The Harborside Inn on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Jolly Roger Restaurants Inc., in California, and Pannell Kerr Forster, a management and consulting company in Los Angeles and Boston. As an academic he continued to pursue industry experience through faculty internships with Aramark, Marriott Management Services (now Sodexo), Marriott International and the Club Managers Association of America; New Jersey Chapter. He has continued his industry partnerships serving on a variety of professional boards. He has served on boards and or committees of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, the North Carolina's Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Board, the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation, the Certification Commission of the Educational Institute of the America Hotel and Lodging Association (Chair), and the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Educational Institute of the AH & LA and the Training and Education Advisory Council of AH&LA.  He previously served on the boards of the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association, the Metro Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association, the Memphis Restaurant Association and the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau and the New York State Restaurant Association.

Professor O'Halloran is a recipient of the Innovation in Teaching Award presented by International CHRIE and is recipient of the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association's Educator of the Year award. He is author and or co-author of over one hundred articles, columns, cases and chapters in books. He is also co-editor and contributing author for two case books, Cases in Food Service and Cases in Hospitality and Tourism published by Pearson Prentice Hall and has also served as a subject matter expert for the Pearson Foundation. He is an instructor for the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) program offered through the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and co-author of the book, Mise en Place for Teaching: A Handbook for Hospitality & Tourism Educators and Trainers published by the Educational Institute of the AH & LA. 

Please visit http://www.ecu.edu for more information.

Prof. O'Halloran can be contacted at +1 252-737-1604 or ohalloranr@ecu.edu

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.