Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Neal

Bob Neal

Principal, Cooper Carry

As a principal in Cooper Carry's Hospitality Studio, Bob Neal has directed the design of hospitality-related projects in the United States, Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

Mr. Neal is particularly focused on the design of upper upscale and luxury properties and specializes in conference and convention hotels, boutique properties and resorts. He has practiced architecture for 39 years, specializing in hotel design since joining Cooper Carry in 1988. His work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the National Register of Historic Places as well as various other national and local associations for design excellence and urban responsibility.

In additional to the development of Columbia Place in Washington, D.C., Mr. Neal is responsible for leading recent projects including the 1,175-key Washington, D.C. Marriott Marquis Hotel & Convention Center; the 600-key Hilton Cleveland Downtown in Cleveland, Ohio; the 217-key Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina; the 325-key Hotel at Avalon and Alpharetta Conference Center in Alpharetta, Georgia; the forthcoming 800-key Kansas City Loews Hotel designed for maximum connectivity to the new Kansas City Convention Center; and the historic renovation of the 88-year-old, art-deco style El Paso Plaza Hotel into a 131-room, upscale boutique travel destination in El Paso, Texas.

Mr. Neal received his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and worked as a designer at Harry Weese & Associations and Clark Tribble Harris and Li prior to joining Cooper Carry. He is licensed in 21 states, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration.

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

Mr. Neal can be contacted at +1 404-240-9532 or bobneal@coopercarry.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.