Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Barrett-Cuetara

Richard Barrett-Cuetara

Managing Member, Barrett-Cuetara, PLLC

Richard Barrett-Cuetara is the Managing Member of Barrett-Cuetara, PLLC. He has more than 25 years of trial law and transactional experience in complex commercial real estate transactions and sophisticated real estate disputes, with a special emphasis in the hospitality industry. Trial Law Experience - includes challenging constitutionality of municipal hotel ordinance, actions of inspectors, city manager and law enforcement; prevented condemnation of hotel by municipality; Special Litigation Counsel in $22M CMBS litigation against a REIT and Master/Special Servicers; Defended Price-Gouging lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General, State of Texas, with assistance from Texas Hotel & Lodging Association; prosecuted $27M complex arbitration proceeding regarding division of 6 hotels involving breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, breach of contract, disgorgement, accounting and mismanagement claims; Defended hotel owner in lender liability litigation against Wall Street Hedge Fund and FDIC regarding unlawful acceleration of debt, loan work-out and pre-bankruptcy strategy; jury trial verdict in ad valorem tax litigation against appraisal district; and jury verdict in complex partnership dispute concerning a business divorce of large retail shopping centers. Transactional Experience - includes closing a $60M acquisition of four mid-tiered hotels in Texas that were converted to “select-service” hotels and franchised with international hotel company; negotiating office and retail leases; preparing hotel lease and purchase sale agreements; and operational matters involving retail property management firms, asset managers and hotel operators. Prior Real Estate Experience - includes working in the Real Estate Investment Division of METLIFE, Dallas, Texas, as a Financial Analyst, Asset Manager, Loan Underwriter and Commercial Appraiser (M.A.I. Courses). Professional Affiliations & Memberships - include the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association (TH&LA); Hotel Association of Tarrant County; Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys (AHIA); the Hospitality Law Conference (HLC), Houston, Texas, as Advisory Panel, Moderator and Host; and Contributing Author for HospitaliltyLawyer.com. Honors & Recognitions include nomination to ABA Real Estate Litigation Committee, as Co-Chair of the Commercial Real Estate Subcommittee; Attorney of the Week, Hospitalitylawyer.com (April 22, 2013); Rated AV Preeminent Rating ®, Highest Possible Rating in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards; Martindale-Hubbell ® AV ® Preeminent (5.0) Rating; and Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation & Real Estate Law, Martindale-Hubbell ®.

Mr. Barrett-Cuetara can be contacted at 214-361-1040 or rbarrett@barrettcuetara.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.