Editorial Board

Ms. Farmer

Mary Farmer

Director, Online Programs, Glion Institute of Higher Education

Mary Farmer is presently Director of Online Programs for the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Bulle and Glion-Montreux, Switzerland and lectures in the Graduate School at Glion. For more than a decade Ms. Farmer has lectured at the University of British Columbia, University of Tilburg, Leiden University and Nipissing University. She has over 30 years’ experience as consultant, manager and corporate executive and has lived and worked extensively in Asia, Europe and North America. Her career began in international development in Southeast Asia where she was Project Manager for bi- and multi-lateral aid projects for CIDA, the World Bank, USAID, JICA and others. Ms. Farmer is a consultant and thought leader in global business and individual and organizational performance. Her passion is around leadership, communication, people and talent development. She has extensive expertise in influencing and coaching C-Suite and other senior leaders and specializes in workplace innovation, creating high performing teams and inclusive working environments, maximizing organizational effectiveness, development of inclusive communication strategy and succession and workforce planning design. Her many years of training, facilitating, coaching, speaking and lecturing in highly diverse environments gives her real credibility in multinational business and non-government organizations alike, and she delivers results by designing and delivering sustainable, pragmatic programs that address systemic issues requiring change. After starting with Price Waterhouse in Vancouver, Ms. Farmer helped establish Price Waterhouse Associates in Jakarta and was Indonesia’s Crown Agent representative. She was advisor on integrated and special education to the Indonesian Minister of Education, and served on the Curriculum Development board of Indonesia. Ms. Farmer was senior consultant and trainer with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam, after which she launched her own highly successful cross-cultural and diversity and inclusion consulting, coaching and training firm, Global TMC International. For more than a decade she served global clients (including Philips, Ahold, Air Asia, Air Products, TNT, Shell, Vopak, Oce, Heineken, Medtronic, Honeywell, Avery-Dennison, 3M, the Mars Corporation, ABN Amro, American Airlines, Fortis, Cisco, ING Group, Air France-KLM, Oxfam, the Dutch and Canadian Ministries of Foreign Affairs) in designing programs and strategy for leadership development, post-acquisition integration, diversity and inclusion, communication and cross-cultural and cross-border business effectiveness. In 2010 Ms. Farmer was invited to take over as Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion, for Philips in Amsterdam to reframe D&I within the company and set strategic direction internationally, including a focus on gender balance, cultural diversity, non-OECD nationals, and implicit bias. Following studies in Journalism and Cultural Anthropology, Ms. Farmer holds an MBA in International Management from Leiden University and is doctoral candidate in Organizational Behaviour at the University of Amsterdam. She holds dual Canadian and Dutch citizenship and resides in Switzerland. She speaks fluent English, Dutch, Thai, and Bahasa Indonesia, and has working proficiency in Lao, Malay, and Flemish. She speaks ‘statistically bilingual’ Canadian French and a smattering of Mandarin and Spanish. Mary is a member of the European Institute for Managing Diversity.

Ms. Farmer can be contacted at mary.farmer@glion.edu

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.