Editorial Board   

Mr. Schirmer

Cary Tyler Schirmer

Chief Executive Officer, The Higgins Group

Cary Schirmer brings more than 20 years of professional construction, development and hospitality management experience to his position as Chief Executive Officer of The Higgins Group (THG). He is responsible for the long-term strategic planning of the firm and oversees operations for both the Higgins Purchasing Group and Boxport. Mr. Schirmer forges successful partners with clients' operations and management teams through carefully orchestrated contract negotiations, legal issues, accounting systems and technologies. As a champion for customer satisfaction, Mr. Schirmer is committed to educating THG clients on evolving supply chain issues and helping them improve daily operations with more efficient methods for budgeting, purchasing, and reporting. He also works closely with his team to promote growth and enhance the mission of THG within the industry. Before his promotion to CEO, Mr. Schirmer spent nine years as president of both organizations. Prior to joining THG, Mr. Schirmer oversaw construction management and various capital asset programs for Fairmont Hotel Management, based in San Francisco. He also managed the renovations of properties located in New Orleans, Dallas, San Jose and San Francisco. Before Fairmont Hotel Management, Mr. Schirmer was with Swinerton and Walberg Company, a general building contractor where he progressed from Project Scheduler to Project Engineer and then to Project Manager. He has also supervised design and construction in various roles at C&N Builders and Gino & Huffman Construction. Mr. Schirmer is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. He resides in Lafayette, California with his wife Stacy and three children.

Mr. Schirmer can be contacted at 415-772-1600 or cschirmer@higginspurchasing.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.