Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Wolfe

Frank I. Wolfe

CEO, Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals

Frank I. Wolfe, CAE is CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), which produces the largest hospitality technology conference in the world – HITEC (Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference). Every other year at HITEC, HFTP reveals an updated version of GUESTROOM 20X, a hands-on exhibit that displays new and futuristic technologies for the hotel guestroom. Mr. Wolfe, along with an Advisory Council comprised of industry experts, search the globe looking for technologies that could improve the guest’s experience at a hotel. The 2010 version took lead with travelers’ increased use of personal electronic devices and the Internet as a central resource for entertainment and information. Some technologies featured include a cell phone application that unlocks the guestroom door with a unique audible signal, integrated environmental room controls via touch screens that include Internet access; a canopy bed with an all-in-one multi-media experience; a bathroom mirror that broadcasts the day’s weather, news and health data; and much more. Mr. Wolfe joined HFTP in 1991 and has been at the helm since 1994. At that time, he was one of the youngest association CEOs in North America. In 2000, Mr. Wolfe was honored by Lodging Magazine by being included in the “75 Profiles in Leadership” edition, a who’s who of 75 individuals who have made major contributions to the hospitality industry. In 2002, Mr. Wolfe received the HFTP Paragon Award for his significant and lasting contributions to HFTP and the hospitality industry. In 2010 he was recognized as a "Technology Trailblazer" by Hotel Business Magazine. In June 2011, Mr. Wolfe was inducted into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame for his leadership with various hospitality technology projects, as well as assisting in educating the industry, over the past 20 years. Mr. Wolfe frequently speaks on hospitality finance, technology, social media, travel issues, and meetings industry topics to varied audiences and has presented in more than 20 countries. He has appeared on several television network interviews and programs including CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, TVAsia, and Bloomberg TV. Mr. Wolfe is also a frequent author and has been published in publications throughout the world. Mr. Wolfe currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Finance Committee of the Texas Society of Association Executives, and the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Conrad Hilton College at the University of Houston. He has been an instructor for the Academy of Assn. Management on topics including education, association law, finance and technology.

Mr. Wolfe can be contacted at 512-249-5333 or frank.wolfe@hftp.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.