Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Schanfarber

EJ Schanfarber

President & Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Hospitality

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Hospitality, EJ Schanfarber is directly responsible for day-to-day supervision of Alliance Hospitality’s third-party hotel management assignments. Additionally, Mr. Schanfarber directs Alliance Hospitality’s executive staff, including in the areas of financing, revenue management, human resources and corporate sales. Mr. Schanfarber works closely with Alliance Hospitality Chairman Rolf Tweeten in the areas of strategic growth planning, brand relationships, acquisitions and investor relations. Working with Tweeten, Mr. Schanfarber has helped forge Alliance Hospitality’s operating philosophy of managing hospitality assets “from the perspective of ownership,” aligning with their strategic goals and objectives. With more than thirty years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mr. Schanfarber is known for his management and people skills, as well as his keen understanding of market segments, operations in resort-driven locales and consumer trends. Mr. Schanfarber has excellent experience working with all classes of lodging property types, including select service, full service, and destination resorts with a focus on luxury and lifestyle assets. In these assignments, Mr. Schanfarber has worked with all major hotel brands, including Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Starwood, Choice, Wyndham, and Carlson Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Schanfarber’s development experience includes award winning ground-up projects in the Caribbean. Mr. Schanfarber is also respected as an industry leader in the areas of sustainable development and eco-friendly operating initiatives. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Schanfarber began his career in the hotel industry with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in 1981. He has also served as Executive Officer for Divi Resorts Group, a premier developer and operator of destination resorts in the Caribbean and has held senior management positions with Remington Hotels, Extended Stay America, Omni Hotels & Resorts, and Durango Mountain Resort. Please visit http://www.alliancehospitality.com for more information.

Mr. Schanfarber can be contacted at 919-791-1801 or ejschanfarber@alliancehospitality.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.