Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Stevens

Wendy Stevens

Executive Vice President, First Hospitality Group

In her role as executive vice president of First Hospitality Group (FHG), Wendy Stevens is responsible for developing and executing company strategy at a high level, pinpointing valuable business opportunities, and scouting out the best of the best for our workforce. Disciplined and determined in her approach, every challenge that comes across her desk is met with a sense of urgency that guarantees results. Ms. Stevens was exposed to the world of hospitality from an early age, becoming increasingly familiar with back-of-house operations as her mother lived and worked in a hotel. Despite her varied focuses in school, ranging from political science to fashion merchandising, it was the time spent working guest services in a front office during college that ultimately shaped her career path. Ms. Stevens joined FHG in 2001. Throughout her 14 years with FHG, the accomplishment about which she is most proud is the assemblage of her team of innovative leaders. When she joined FHG, there were only 17 hotels in the portfolio and only two other sales people. Since then, FHG’s portfolio has more than tripled; departments dedicated to marketing and revenue management have been developed to offer more holistic and dedicated support, and a total sales department of three grew to a team of more than 20. She attributes her success to the singular idea that there is nothing that you can't do; the only limits that we have, we set for ourselves. Ms. Stevens has truly seen hotels from every angle, from suburban 80-room select service hotels to 500-room downtown convention centers, giving her the knowledge and first-hand understanding necessary to excel in her collaboration with people at all levels. Please visit http://www.fhginc.com for more information.

Ms. Stevens can be contacted at 224-257-4000 or wstevens@fhginc.com

Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.