Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Rudnitsky

Steven Rudnitsky

President & Chief Executive Officer, Miraval Group Denver

Steven Rudnitsky has been associated for more than 36 years with iconic consumer packaged-goods companies, including Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Pillsbury, Kraft Foods and Nabisco as well as leading hospitality companies, including Cendant Corporation, Wyndham Worldwide, Dolce Hotels & Resorts and now, Miraval Group. As president & chief executive officer of Denver-based Miraval Group, he leads expansion of the company’s luxury resort, spa and wellness portfolio globally. He also oversees ESPA International Ltd., a United Kingdom-based company that focuses on upscale spas and skin-care products. Both are affiliated with KSL Capital Partners LLC. Prior to Miraval Group, Mr. Rudnitsky was president & chief executive officer of Dolce Hotels & Resorts. From 2008 to 2015, he built the company into a premier branded lifestyle and meetings-focused manager of hotels, resorts and corporate conference centers in the United States, Canada and Europe. During late 2014 and early 2015, Mr. Rudnitsky initiated, negotiated and consummated Dolce’s sale to Wyndham Worldwide of Parsippany, New Jersey, delivering approximately a two times return to Dolce’s shareholders. Before joining Dolce, Mr. Rudnitsky served the Hotel Group Wyndham Worldwide’s as president & chief executive officer. Cendant Corporation, predecessor of Wyndham Worldwide, recruited him in 2002 to improve the performance of its 12 hotel brands and expand its portfolio following the 2001 hospitality industry downturn. Earlier in his career, Mr. Rudnitsky was appointed president of Nabisco Food Service Company in 1999 and subsequently was named president of Kraft Foodservice and executive vice president of Kraft Foods Inc., Glenview, Illinois, following its acquisition of Nabisco. From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Rudnitsky was vice president and general manager, food service, for Pillsbury Bakery & Food Service in Minneapolis. From 1984 to 1996, he held positions of increasing responsibility at PepsiCo Inc., based in Purchase, New York. Mr. Rudnitsky began his career in 1980 with McNeil Consumer Products, a Johnson & Johnson Company, on Long Island, New York. Mr. Rudnitsky earned a bachelor of business administration degree at Temple University, Philadelphia, in 1980 and a master of business administration degree in marketing at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey, in 1985. He received the Stephen W. Brener Lodging Hospitality Silver Plate Award at the 29th Annual New York University Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in 2007. Please visit http://www.miravalresorts.com for more information.

Mr. Rudnitsky can be contacted at 720-428-6557 or srudnitsky@miravalresorts.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.