Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Ford

Tracy Ford

Executive Director of Member Services, Wireless Infrastructure Association

Tracy Ford is Executive Director of Member Services at the Wireless Infrastructure Association and guides HetNet Forum initiatives for the association. The Wireless Infrastructure Association represents the businesses that develop, build, own and operate the nation's wireless infrastructure. Members include wireless carriers, infrastructure providers, and professional services firms that collectively own and operate telecommunications facilities around the globe. Through public affairs and advocacy efforts — on the local, state and federal level — WIA works to support the widespread deployment of wireless infrastructure in order to enable wireless broadband everywhere.

The HetNet Forum is a membership group of WIA dedicated to the advancement of the heterogeneous network. The HetNet is a wireless ecosystem composed of a variety of mobile and wireless technologies and infrastructure, interoperable with the macrocellular network providing harmonious voice and data communications. Ms. Ford also leads WIA's Innovation & Technology Council, which produces thought-leadership items on topics including 5G, CBRS and in-building wireless solutions.  

Ms. Ford has spent more than two decades covering the rapidly changing wireless industry, tracking its changes as it grew from a voice-centric marketplace to the dynamic data-intensive industry it is today. She started her technology journalism career at RCR Wireless News and has held a number of titles there, including associate publisher and executive editor. She is a winner of the American Society of Business Publication Editors Silver Award for both trade show and government coverage. She joined WIA in 2011. A graduate of the Minnesota State University-Moorhead, Ms. Ford holds a B.S. degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on public relations.

Please visit http://www.wia.org for more information.

Ms. Ford can be contacted at +1 703-535-7459 or tracy.ford@wia.org

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.