Editorial Board   

Mr. Paton

Mike Paton

Senior Vice President, Signature Worldwide

As senior vice president of sales for Signature Worldwide, Mike Paton develops, manages and directs all company sales within the hospitality industry. Paton is responsible for coordinating sales efforts for 5,000 customers worldwide, including licensees in Brazil, Belize, Costa Rica, Cypress, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. Prior to joining Signature in 2003, Paton managed sales and marketing for Corporate One, a financial institution providing investment solutions and correspondent services to credit unions. As a member of the company's senior management team, Paton doubled its customer relationships, increased assets under management by more than 100 percent and expanded the company presence from six to 23 states. He also served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for PurchasingFirst.com, Inc., a professional and technical e-commerce consulting company. While there, Paton was responsible for designing and implementing sales strategies for the company's customized purchasing tools and national e-commerce marketplaces. Paton also has served in executive roles at the Huntington National Bank and Star Bank, where he built and maintained relationships with hundreds of business owners and entrepreneurs. Paton is a national champion public speaker and holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from The Ohio State University. Signature Worldwide is the leading solutions provider to service-based organizations, creating tailored programs that directly impact the bottom line. Established in 1986 and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Signature operates throughout North America and has licensees in South America and Europe. Signature is a private company, with revenues $12 million in 2004.

Mr. Paton can be contacted at 800-398-0518 or mikepaton@signatureworldwide.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.