Editorial Board   

Mr. Hutcheson

Ken Hutcheson

President, U.S. Lawns

Ken Hutcheson is President of U.S. Lawns, which was founded in 1986. Mr. Hutcheson joined U.S. Lawns in 1995 and has been instrumental in growing the commercial landscape management franchise organization from a regional 18-franchise network to an industry leader with over 250 commercial landscape management franchises nationwide offering year-round grounds services. Based in Orlando, Florida, U.S. Lawns is nourished by the values and passion of family-owned and operated franchise businesses and Mr. Hutcheson is a champion of the entrepreneurial spirit and teamwork that defines its culture. He’s skilled at developing employees, franchisees and customer bases that are anchored on a strong commitment to long-term, high-value relationships. His focus is on the company’s Franchise Development and the Support Teams that are central reasons for the company’s steady national expansion and consistently high rankings on green industry, snow industry and franchise industry lists, including Entrepreneur Magazine’s listing of best franchises in its annual Franchise 500 report, #9 on Lawn & Landscape Magazine’s Top 100 list and #8 on Snow Magazine’s Top 100 Snow Contractor’s list. Mr. Hutcheson received a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Florida. In 2005 he was recognized by the International Franchise Association as a Certified Franchise Executive. He has been a licensed Certified Pest Control Operator for over twenty years, and is a board member of several industry related organizations, including Nova Southeastern University’s International Institute for Franchise Education. He was presented with the prestigious Lawn & Landscape Leadership Award during the Green Industry Great Escape in Las Vegas in 2013, an award that recognizes outstanding individuals in the green industry. He led the company through a rebranding process in 2013, refreshing the brand while staying true to its culture. In 2016, the company’s 30th anniversary, he was inducted into the U.S. Lawns Hall of Fame at the company’s annual conference. Please visit https://uslawns.com/ for more information.

Mr. Hutcheson can be contacted at 407-246-1630 or khutcheson@uslawns.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.