Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Parisi

Dawn Parisi

Area Director of Sales & Marketing, Starwood Caribbean Hotels & Resorts

Dawn Parisi, with 18 years of hospitality sales and marketing experience under her belt, leads the Starwood Caribbean Hotels & Resorts team as the cluster’s area director of sales and marketing and director of sales and marketing for The Westin St. John Resort & Villas. Before joining Starwood Caribbean Hotels & Resorts, Ms. Parisi held positions at major brands from Hilton Hotels to Intercontinental Hotels Group in several key markets including the Caribbean, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Orlando, Cincinnati and West Palm Beach. Previously at Starwood, Ms. Parisi served as the director of sales and marketing for new builds and transitions as well as complex director of sales at the W Hotels of New York City. As area director of sales and marketing, Ms. Parisi oversees six properties: The Westin St. John Resort & Villas; The Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba; W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island; Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino; Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino and The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico. Among her duties, Ms. Parisi is primarily responsible for revenue and yield strategies along with directing and managing all catering and banquet sales activities. Within The Westin St. John Resort & Villas, Ms. Parisi develops sales initiatives, builds and maintains deep-rooted customer relationships, realizes strategies to meet and exceed guests’ needs in leisure and group sales functions, and achieves the property’s sales objectives.

Ms. Parisi can be contacted at 866-716-8108 or dawn.parisi@starwoodhotels.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.