Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Suggs

Jim Suggs

Associate Vice President, CallisonRTKL

Jim Suggs began his architectural career in 1978. He has amassed extensive experience in architectural design, interior design, historic preservation and master planning for private and public, commercial and institutional clients. His experience includes substantial work in the design and planning of courtrooms and courthouses including federal and county facilities, both newly built and historical properties. Highlights include the restoration of the 120 year old Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas incorporating cutting-edge courtroom technology while preserving the historical integrity of the interior, the design of courtroom facilities dedicated to child and family law as well as the St. Mary's University Moot Court Facility. Another area of expertise is in the planning and design of video, television and audio production facilities. Highlights include the design of Maverick Video Production Company headquarters including a full sound stage and two television studios as well as various university Radio/Television & Film facilities. But, Mr. Suggs' true passion, the planning and design of hotels has developed over the last 15 years. His work has included everything from roll-out programs for limited-service hotels, renovations, historic adaptive use, full service and upscale boutique properties. Highlights include full-service, independent high-rise boutique hotels in San Antonio, Texas and San Jose, California as well as Westin and Sheraton resorts in Maryland and the Bahamas respectively. Since joining RTKL in 2007 Mr. Suggs' experience has been focused on large scale hospitality and mixed-use projects expanding his expertise in the planning of hotels and hotel-driven environments. Recent projects include expansion of the Omaha Hilton Convention Center hotel, Lone Star Court (a boutique property) in Austin, TX and the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner in Tysons Corner, VA.

Please visit www.rtkl.com for more information.

Mr. Suggs can be contacted at 214-468-7698 or jsuggs@RTKL.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.