Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Mahlstedt

Patricia Mahlstedt

Co-Chair Hospitality & Gaming Practice, Eckert Seamans

Tricia Mahlstedt is the Co-Chair of Eckert Seamansí Hospitality & Gaming practice. She focuses her practice on hospitality law, representing hotel owners, developers, investors, and management companies. Ms. Mahlstedtís practice covers various aspects of hotel-related matters for clients whose properties are located throughout the United States as well as in international locations, including hotel acquisitions and sales, joint venture negotiations, financing matters, leases, management agreements, franchise and food and beverage operating agreements, and day-to-day hotel operational matters.

She is responsible for managing Eckert Seamansí role as outside counsel for negotiation of management agreements for multiple independent hotel management company clients, for both U.S. and international operations, as well as on-going legal support for the operations of such clients.

Previously, Ms. Mahlstedt served for six years as an associate general counsel at Interstate Hotels, the nationís largest independent hotel management company. While serving in that capacity, Ms. Mahlstedtís practice covered general corporate transactional matters of the publicly-held company, including mergers and acquisitions as well as hotel operational matters. Specifically, Ms. Mahlstedt had major responsibility in negotiation and administration of hotel management agreements, hotel acquisitions, joint ventures and financing transactions, and securities transaction and reporting matters. Ms. Mahlstedt also has several years of experience practicing general corporate and real estate law outside of the hospitality area, with experience in commercial lending transactions, real estate acquisitions and dispositions, and merger and acquisition transactions.

Ms. Mahlstedt earned her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School and undergraduate degree, with highest honors, from Saint Vincent College.

Please visit http://www.eckertseamans.com for more information.

Ms. Mahlstedt can be contacted at 412-566-1914 or pmahlstedt@eckertseamans.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.