Editorial Board   

Ms. Dolecki

Leigh Anne Dolecki

President, The Northern California Concierge Association

Leigh Anne Dolecki joined the hospitality industry after a 20 year career in the world of theatre production. Since becoming a concierge in 2000 she has served as vice president of the Northern California Concierge Association; at the end of 2007 she completed her two year term as president of the NCCA. She represented a membership of over 160 concierges throughout the Bay Area as far south as Monterey and Carmel, and as far north as Healdsburg. As president, Ms. Dolecki provided educational opportunities for the members by planning meetings and events, as well as building relationships with service providers throughout northern California, keeping NCCA members on the forefront of guest services. She remains on the current board of directors as past president. As a member of Les Clefs d'Or USA, Ms. Dolecki most recently attended the Panamerican Congress in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the International Congress in Copenhagen Denmark, as well as the National Congress in New York City. She has made numerous presentations on the Northern California Concierge Association's response to concierge outsourcing. Ms. Dolecki provides guest service as chef concierge at Campton Place, a Taj Hotel. Located in downtown San Francisco, just off Union Square, the 110-room luxury boutique hotel is the third Taj Hotel in the United States along with The Pierre and the Taj Boston; it is also a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World. Ms. Dolecki continues her work as the lead for food in the San Francisco mayor's outreach program for the homeless, Project Homeless Connect.

Ms. Dolecki can be contacted at 415-955-5552 or ladolecki@gmail.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.