Editorial Board   

Dr. Hardigree

Christian Hardigree

Founding Director, Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability, KSU

As Founding Director and Professor of the Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality at Kennesaw State University, Dr. Christian Hardigree oversees the Bachelor of Science degree program which houses over 260 majors and services over 1500 students enrolled in classes.

Addressing both “sustainability on the plate” as well as “sustainability beyond the plate” in terms of water, waste and energy efficiencies, this highly relevant management program provides a competitive advantage and discernible point of differentiation as the epicenter for teaching, research and best practices in sustainable culinary and hospitality management. The flexibility of the program’s curriculum allows students to emphasize careers in beverage management, event planning, specialized cuisines, and the hotel industry.

Prior to coming to KSU, Dr. Hardigree served as a tenured faculty member in the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in law, management, ethics and diversity. During her tenure at UNLV, she also served as the Assistant President and Chief of Staff to the University President, the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the Hotel College, the Department Chair for Hotel Management, and as the Associate Athletic Director for Community Development and Special Projects.

Dr. Hardigree started teaching courses at UNLV in 1997, being awarded several awards for teaching and service, in addition to compiling an impressive and nationally renowned research and scholarly engagement portfolio. In addition to her academic obligations, Dr. Hardigree has an extensive background as a trial attorney practicing primarily in the areas of premises liability, security/safety, products liability, and employment law. She maintains an active caseload, including private consulting and mediation/arbitration services. She is a Nevada state-appointed Arbitrator. She is licensed to practice law in the states of Nevada and Georgia, as well as the United States District Court, District of Nevada.

Dr. Hardigree also serves as a consultant for numerous clients on a variety of issues. Dr. Hardigree conducts research and presents nationally at industry conferences as related to her areas of expertise, including food safety, risk management, sustainability, workplace violence and employment / management issues. She is a national expert on bed bug litigation, speaking across the country on the subject.

Please visit http://www.kennesaw.edu for more information.

Dr. Hardigree can be contacted at 470-578-7974 or chardigr@kennesaw.edu

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.