Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Powell

Stephen Powell

Senior Vice President, IHG Worldwide Sales

Stephen Powell serves as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). IHG has nine hotel brands, over 161 million guest annually, 688,517 rooms in over 4700 hotels located in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. Mr. Powell's key responsibilities include the creation of a unified sales platform for IHG as a worldwide company with global customers and development of a common way of delivering the IHG brand proposition through a consistent sales experience. Mr. Powell joined InterContinental Hotels Group in December 2003 as Vice President of Sales, UK & Ireland and was soon promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for EMEA where he was instrumental in linking brands and sales together to drive tangible business results. Since 2007, Mr. Powell has served in his current role as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales. He leads a team of professionals that has implemented solutions and programs, such as sales force automation, that serve customer needs and drive results for IHG. Mr. Powell has over 35 years of experience in the hotel industry, receiving recognition with a number of awards for industry leadership. He graduated from the University of Texas and has worked in various senior positions for a number of companies in the US. He was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts - North America and Sales Director for Loews Hotels in America. He has also established global sales teams for hospitality industry software companies, namely PlanSoft Corporation and Certain Software. In April 2013 The Convention Industry Council (CIC) announced that Mr. Powell was amongst five meeting leaders to receive the highest honor in the meetings industry. The inductees into the Hall represent influential leaders who have shaped the industry over a lifetime of accomplishments and whose contributions have left an indelible impression on the industry. Mr. Powell was officially inducted into CIC's Hall of Leaders in October 2013. Mr. Powell is a former President of the Site International Foundation and a former International President of Meeting Professionals International. He has also held the title of MPI's Supplier of the Year. Mr. Powell has served on committees and boards including the American Society of Association Executives, Hospitality Sales Management Association International, Convention Industry Council, Meeting Professionals International, Site International and the Institute of Directors. He participates in public speaking at industry events and has published several articles on industry trends on sales and marketing issues.

Mr. Powell can be contacted at 770-604-2000 or stephen.powell@ihg.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.