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 September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.