Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Foster

H. Stuart Foster

Vice President, Global Brand Marketing, Hilton

H. Stuart Foster is vice president, global brand marketing for Hilton's flagship brand, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Mr. Foster oversees an integrated team that leads marketing, communications, digital, social media and customer relationship management across all four full service brands. Prior to his current role, Mr. Foster served as vice president, global brand marketing for Hilton's luxury and lifestyle brands. He was responsible for global positioning, strategy and marketing efforts for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts, in addition to developing the consumer messaging and launch strategy for Canopy by Hilton. Under his leadership, Mr. Foster established integrated marketing strategies to support Waldorf Astoria Brand's experiential platforms including the Taste of Waldorf Astoria and Waldorf Astoria Driving Experiences, both launched to celebrate the brand's storied connection to the luxury consumer's passion points. In addition, Mr. Foster innovated the role of a luxury hotel brand through Conrad's Stay Inspired platform which curates quintessential local experiences for travelers whose time is at a premium. Mr. Foster has an extensive background leading marketing work for some of the world's top brands including L'Oreal, and the Moet Hennessy portfolio of wines & spirits. During his tenure with Mot-Hennessy spanning New York, Tokyo and Paris, Mr. Foster used his rich marketing experience to provide leadership across multiple disciplines, including global brand management, sales and business development. Mr. Foster received his Master of Business Administration from New York University's Stern School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University. He is fluent in English and French and proficient in Japanese. Mr. Foster is based at Hilton's worldwide headquarters in McLean, Va. Please visit http://www.hilton.com for more information.

Mr. Foster can be contacted at 703-883-6587 or stuart.foster@hilton.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.