Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. O'Halloran

Robert O'Halloran

Professor & Director, Hospitality Management, East Carolina University

Bob O'Halloran, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. He is on the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel and Lodging Education Foundation, Vice Chair of the AH&LA's Certification Commission and on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Prior to joining ECU he was on the faculty of the University of Memphis, the State University of New York/ Plattsburgh, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Professor O'Halloran has extensive operational experience as a general manager and a training manager for new properties with Jolly Roger and Trans Pacific Restaurants, Inc., in California. He also has operational experience with a Cape Cod resort in the front office and food and beverage departments and has worked as a hospitality management consultant with Pannell Kerr Forster in Los Angeles and Boston. As an academic, he has continued his industry experience through faculty internships with Aramark, Marriott Management Services, the Club Managers Association of New Jersey, the Lodging Division of Marriott International, and the Recreation Division of the United States Forest Service. He was also Visiting Scholar of the National Tourism Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Before moving to ECU in July of 2007 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau (MCVB), the MCVB's Educational Foundation board, the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel and Lodging Association and the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association. He is currently a Commissioner for AH&LA's Certification Commission and was recently elected as Vice Chair and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation. He is also a member of the Educational Institute of AHLA Faculty Advisory Board. He is also a current member of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association Board of Directors. O'Halloran is a recipient of the Van Nostrand Reinhold Award for Teaching Innovation through the Council on Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Education and the Outstanding Teaching and Advising Awards in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He has presented seminars and workshops for organizations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, including the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Motel Association, the China Travel Service, the China Travel & Tourism Press, the Hong Kong Hotels Association, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Choice Hotels International, the Grand Teton Lodge Company and others. He is a regular contributor to industry publications and has written over one hundred articles, columns and cases; for trade journals, newspapers, magazines and scholarly publications. He is co-author of a Service Learning chapter for the American Association of Higher Education for the hospitality industry and co-author of the education and training book, Mise en Place for Teaching: A Handbook for Hospitality & Tourism Educators & Trainers published by the Educational Institute of AH & LA. He is also co-editor of two books of case studies published by Prentice Hall and a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.

Dr. O'Halloran can be contacted at 252-737-1604 or ohalloranr@ecu.edu

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.