Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. van Greunen

Theresa van Greunen

Assistant Vice President of Corporate Communications, Aqua-Aston Hospitality

Theresa van Greunen, assistant vice president of corporate communications, joined Aqua-Aston Hospitality in 2015 as director of public relations and promotions and has been providing strategic direction and implementing successful communications campaigns ever since.

To elevate Aqua-Aston's 70-year legacy, Ms. van Greunen launched #ShareTheAloha, a pay-it-forward campaign providing a platform for Hawaii's community leaders and non-profit organizations who are doing good by sharing Hawaii's unique culture; promoting the principles of tolerance, diversity and equality; and being environmental stewards. #ShareTheAloha is the company's most successful campaign to date and due to unprecedented consumer response, was extended three times.

Additional highlights from Ms. van Greunen's career with Aqua-Aston include developing Aqua-Aston's corporate social responsibility program, "Advocate with Aqua-Aston," and most notably, its #ForOurReef campaign. Credited with influencing the new law that bans reef-damaging sunscreens in Hawaii (Senate Bill 2571), the public awareness initiative and sought to amplify awareness about the issue; increase consumer demand for reef-safe sunscreen; and increase the availability of reef-safe sunscreen for purchase. Since launching the campaign in 2018, Aqua-Aston has distributed more than 100,000 reef-safe sunscreen samples with educational information to hotel guests and the community at more than 50 events throughout Hawaii.

Ms. van Greunen's tremendous success spearheading Advocate with Aqua-Aston and the#ForOurReef campaign led to Aqua-Aston's recognition by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) as a leader in corporate social responsibility, and her honor as one of the "Top 25 Extraordinary Minds" in 2019.

Ms. van Greunen oversees a growing corporate communications team and under her leadership, Aqua-Aston has refined its online customer service programs, resulting in quicker response times. Following tremendously positive results from integrating LiveChat with social media platforms, Aqua-Aston Hospitality is now one the first global brands to integrate the new Apple Business Chat and Google Business Message features with its online platforms.

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

Ms. van Greunen can be contacted at +1 808-202-5756 or pr@aqua-aston.com

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.