Editorial Board   

Mr. Hurn

Christopher G. Hurn

President & CEO, Mercantile Commercial Capital LLC

Christopher G. Hurn is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercantile Commercial Capital LLC and actively participates in, among other things, the business development, underwriting and marketing functions of MCC. The company was expressly created to focus exclusively on providing 90 percent loan-to-cost financing for small to mid-sized business owners to purchase or construct commercial real estate. With this type of lending, business owners can obtain the highest cash-on-cash return available with financing that is cash-flow and capital sensitive to their business. Previously, he worked as a senior management consultant, financier and executive with companies such as GE Capital, Heller Financial and NAI Realvest. Mr. Hurn currently serves on the Greater Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Chamber Board of Directors and the Board of Directors for the Association for Corporate Growth's (ACG) Orlando Chapter. He is active in the Orlando Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI), the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO), the Seminole/Lake Mary Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, Central Florida Commercial Real Estate Society (CFCRES), the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), and the Orlando Real Estate Forum (OREF), which he co-founded. Mr. Hurn attended the Georgetown University Law Center and earned a Master's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Center (formerly at the Wharton School of Business). He earned two Magna Cum Laude Bachelor degrees (B.A. and B.S.) from Loyola University Chicago.

Mr. Hurn can be contacted at 407-786-5040 or churn@mercantilecc.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.