Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Brock

Colby Brock

General Manager, The Radisson Hotel New Rochelle

Colby Brock obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in Psychology and English from the University of Hartford. She interned for the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle while attending college and began working there full-time in 1999 as restaurant manager. In 2008, while continuing to manage the City Lounge at the Radisson, Ms. Brock pursued a degree in Interior Design form Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. She then joined as a designer for Mojo Stumer Associates, an architectural design firm. One of the projects she worked on was the re-design of the Radisson's lobby. In 2011, Ms. Brock returned to the Radisson as the Food and Beverage Director, Interior Designer/Project Manager, with responsibility for overseeing the $2 million renovation program to re-position the hotel as a stylish, contemporary, Manhattan boutique hotel. The scope of the project included upgrades of all 129 guest rooms, the lobby, elevators, hospitality suites and the re-branding of its restaurant which opened on May 15, 2012 as NoMa Social. Everything about the new dining destination reflects Ms. Brock's design sensibility and understanding of the vital role that F&B plays in enhancing the hotel experience of today's sophisticated traveler. To help make NoMa Social feel like a second home for visitors, a 'library decor' was created, one that is eclectic, with warm purple and gray colors, yet chic at the same time. The space includes numerous comfortable couches and low cocktail tables that can accommodate a variety of group sizes, as well as more traditional seating. The Mediterranean menu, created by acclaimed executive chef Bill Rosenberg, offers tapas and other small plates that can be shared in surroundings that promote a relaxing and interactive dining experience. Ms. Brock's contributions to the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle's improvements were instrumental in the hotel winning a “Renovation Excellence Award” from the Radisson's parent company, Carlson, one of the world's largest hospitality and travel groups. Ms. Brock is also responsible for the hotel's floor management, staff training, corporate and social function contracts, menu and promotional creations as well as the hotel's public relations, marketing, promotion and advertising program. For the past 16 years, she has been a strong supporter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter where she is currently serving as a member of the Board of Trustees. She is married to Mario Gualano.

Ms. Brock can be contacted at 914-576-3700 or colby.brock@radisson.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.