Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Forrest

Deborah Forrest

President, ForrestPerkins

An internationally-recognized leader in luxury hospitality design, Deborah Forrest, FASID, ISHC, leads the highly creative and technically accomplished team of professional designers, architects, and administrators who comprise ForrestPerkins, a distinct design studio of Perkins Eastman. Ms. Forrest has been an industry leader in hospitality design throughout her career, which spans more than 35 years. From work early in her career on such acclaimed hotels as The Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia for Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts, now Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, she began focusing on landmark and luxury hotels. More recently, Hilton selected Ms. Forrest to create the design story and branding guide for its Waldorf Astoria brand. With her design agility, she is equally as comfortable designing contemporary properties as classic and has led the firm in many successful modern hotel, multi-residential, and high-end single family projects. In 1986, Ms. Forrest established Deborah Lloyd Forrest Associates. As she built a portfolio of exceptional projects, she became recognized for her extraordinary color sense and interpretation of timeless luxury for discerning hospitality clients. She built her firm’s reputation for lasting design and detail supported by thorough documentation and a rigorous attention to clients’ budgetary goals and schedules. In 1998, Ms. Forrest co-founded ForrestPerkins as a dynamic design practice dedicated to providing exceptional, fully-integrated design services to the owners and operators of luxury hotels and resorts. Ms. Forrest served on the board of directors of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and on the Board of Trustees of the ASID Foundation. In 2000, the ASID elected her a Fellow of the society. In 2004, ASID designated her as Designer of Distinction for the outstanding contribution her work has made to the profession of Interior Design. Also in 2004, *Hospitality Design Magazine* elected Ms. Forrest to its prestigious Platinum Circle to honor her design leadership. On January 1, 2016, ForrestPerkins joined forces with Perkins Eastman, one of the top design and architecture firms in the world with almost 1,000 employees in 15 locations around the globe.

Ms. Forrest can be contacted at 214-953-2210 or dforrest@forrestperkins.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.