Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gelfand

James Gelfand

Director of Sales & Marketing, Turnberry Isle Miami

James Gelfand is Director of Sales & Marketing for Turnberry Isle Miami, with over 30 years of industry experience; he is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of sales for the 408-room resort. As Director of Sales & Marketing he is involved in developing new business opportunities and working directly with all revenue generating departments. He has been instrumental in driving innovative programming and tasked with upholding and enhancing the property's longstanding legacy in southern Florida. Prior to assuming his new role with Turnberry Isle Miami, Mr. Gelfand held the Director of Sales & Marketing position at The Westin Copley Place, where he was influential in the property's transition to becoming part of Starwood Hotels of Boston's Metro Market Sales Force. He guided and directed revenue management and hotel performance at the property to achieve a dramatic increase in sales and stable revenue growth. Mr. Gelfand's 11-year career with Starwood Resorts and Hotels also includes serving as Director of Sales at both The Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla., and The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla. He also served as Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Revenue Development at the prestigious PGA National Resort & Spa. During his time at the resort he was the key architect in rebranding and reintroducing the resort to both local and national markets through integrated marketing and advertising initiatives. Mr. Gelfand assisted with creating new sales deployment territories and enhanced sales across multiple facets of the resort. Mr. Gelfand graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Hotel/Restaurant and Travel Management.

Mr. Gelfand can be contacted at 786-279-6521 or jgelfand@turnberryislemiami.com

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.