Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Walzak

Dawn Walzak

First Vice President, Tishman Hotel Corporation

Dawn Walzak is First Vice President of Tishman Hotel Corporation (THC) in Orlando, Florida. As a respected sales professional with over twenty years of Hospitality Industry experience, Ms. Walzak has also held Sales Management positions with Westin Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. Her strong selling skills, awareness of the overall sales process, technology, savvy and passion for success has resulted in numerous awards. Dawn was also recognized for her leadership in the hospitality industry by being elected as the youngest President of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International in 1997, the largest sales and marketing association in the world with over 4,000 members, and was named one of the 1997 Top 100 Rising Stars in the hospitality business by Travel Agent Magazine, recipient of Florida International University School of Hospitality Management 1999 Alumni of the Year award and was recently named as one of Travel Weekly's "Forty under Forty - the leaders who represent the 'next generation' of travel". Ms. Walzak joined Hyatt Hotels and Resorts as a Corporate Trainee after graduation from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. During her five years with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts she held a succession of sales and marketing positions in several locations. After joining the Westin Mission Hills Resort in 1992, Ms. Walzak continued to break sales records and produced significant market growth. Since joining THC in 1998, she has assisted in the renovation, reposition and re-flagging of the Four Points Sheraton Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport, which completed its first year of operation at 97% occupancy. She has worked on numerous acquisitions and has been able to immediately increase occupancies through non-traditional markets. Her specialties include electronic commerce, public relations exposure, revenue management, and maximization of brand. In October 2002 she completed the opening of the new $330 million Westin New York at Times Square and now oversees a select portfolio of hotels for Tishman. In 2004, Ms. Walzak completed her Masters Degree in Hospitality Management, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors, from Florida International University. As a First Vice President at THC, her responsibilities include overseeing the marketing, sales functions and performance of select THC owned and/or managed hotels. She also supervises corporate projects involving training, research and market analysis.

Ms. Walzak can be contacted at 407-934-1755 or dwalzak@tishman.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.