Editorial Board   

Mr. Ashen

David Ashen

Principal and Founder, dash design

David Ashen is a principal and the founder of dash design, an award-winning New York-based interior design and branding firm specializing in hospitality and retail projects.

Known for his ability to tailor each project to answer clients’ specific business needs, Mr. Ashen and his design team update spaces and reinvent brands. Clients include market leaders and Fortune 500 companies from all over the world including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York City and Aruba.Among the recent high-profile hotel projects to dash design’s credit are: the multi-million renovation of the Lexington New York City hotel; the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino; and restaurants at the Mandarin Oriental in Shanghai.

Rather than a signature style, Mr. Ashen and dash have a signature philosophy: that design equals strategy. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Factors Engineering at Tufts University, then a Masters of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. After his entrée into luxury retail at Peter Marino, he spent five years - from Director of Retail to Principal - at desgrippes gobé, one of the world’s largest independent branding firms. Accounts included Reebok, Unilever, Target, and Peugeot; he created the first consistent global retail image for Godiva, and helped the company expand in Japan and China.

In 2000, Mr. Ashen's first hospitality project - XL Lounge - attracted serious media attention. A year later, Mr. Ashen left desgrippes to launch dash design. dash’s work is all about context and reinvention. “To me, there’s nothing richer than collaborating with client and partners to produce a project that is innovative and thoughtful,” Mr. Ashen says, adding, “It’s not about adding to my portfolio. My success is solely about whether our work helps my client succeed.”

Please visit http://www.dashdesign.net for more information.

Mr. Ashen can be contacted at 718-383-2225 ext. 201 or dashen@dashdesign.net.

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.