Editorial Board   

Ms. Flores

Kathleen Chiechi Flores

Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Wyndham Hotel Group

Kathleen Chiechi Flores was appointed executive vice president of human resources in January 2009 and oversees the development and execution of Wyndham Hotel Group's global human resources strategies, including the talent selection, talent management, workforce planning and administration of more than 4,000 employees around the world. She is also responsible for the company's business continuity planning and global communications functions, including employee communications public relations and franchisee communications. A seasoned veteran of the profession with nearly 20 years of progressive human resources experience, Ms. Flores brings to the company a diverse background spanning multiple industries and organizations. Prior to joining Wyndham Hotel Group, she was chief administrative officer for Houston-based WhiteFence, where she oversaw the company's legal and human resources teams and was responsible for risk management, compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, training and development and organizational effectiveness. Under her leadership, the company substantially increased its recruitment efforts and more than doubled its critical employee headcount. In doing so, WhiteFence was able to more effectively execute upon its initiatives and increase revenues from $8 million in 2006 to $18 million in 2007. Prior to WhiteFence, Ms. Flores served in a variety of executive and senior level human resources roles, working for companies including ZipRealty and Kaplan Inc. Ms. Flores is a certified senior professional in human resources and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California Irvine as well as a master's degree in education from the University of San Francisco. She is based in Wyndham Hotel Group's Parsippany, N.J. offices.

Ms. Flores can be contacted at 973-753-6590 or kathleen.flores@wyn.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.