Editorial Board   

Mr. Meister

Kurt Meister

Senior Vice President , Distinguished Programs

As senior vice president of national sales and business development, Kurt Meister leads Distinguished Programs' sales, service, outreach and marketing teams for the brokerage's specialty programs.

These programs include the hotel, resort and casino all-lines program, the historic properties hotel program, real estate umbrella, restaurant umbrella, cultural institutions & museum umbrella, and the golf course/golf club/ city club umbrella. Mr. Meister applies his 30 years of experience in the insurance industry to cultivate and support a confident and resilient sales team capable of helping their clients grow their businesses.

Mr. Meister began his career at Distinguished Programs as vice president of real estate and hospitality in 2013, leading the organization's national sales team and spearheading the company's sales training & coaching programs. In this role he as also tasked with leading marketing strategies.

Prior to joining Distinguished Programs, he served as National Specialty Underwriters' vice president of hospitality from 2006 to 2012. In this role, he was responsible for managing the hospitality, gaming and healthcare divisions while also leading a national team of empowered sales executives.

Working in the world of insurance was Mr. Meister's original career goal, joining the industry immediately after college. He began his professional insurance career with Aon in Chicago, going through the company's management training program. During his 18 years with Aon, he worked in Chicago, Philadelphia and later in Seattle. He managed different divisions, taking on advancing responsibilities and eventually was promoted to senior vice president.

Mr. Meister earned his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he was first introduced to insurance through a business internship for Aon Corporation. He attended Villanova University, studying business administration with a focus on marketing and corporate finance.

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

Mr. Meister can be contacted at +1 425-213-5125 or KMeister@distinguished.com

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.