Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hunt

John R. Hunt

Attorney, Stokes Wagner Hunt Martez & Terrell, ALC

John Hunt has litigated employment, labor and commercial law cases in over 75 federal and state courts throughout the United States. A substantial portion of this work has been devoted to the defense of businesses in the hospitality and restaurant industries. In addition to representing clients at trials, arbitrations and mediations, he provides counseling and advice on a variety of issues, including those involving, wage and hour requirements, employment discrimination, restrictive covenants, family and medical leave, union relations, contract negotiations and the preparation and implementation of personnel policies. At Stokes Wagner, Mr. Hunt works to provide early, practical assessments of the pros and cons of each case and its potential economic and emotional consequences. Once this occurs, he and his team try to implement the best strategy to win at trial (or sooner) or resolve the dispute in other ways, including through mediation or arbitration. They follow the same approach in counseling and advice where they use their experience in the hospitality industry and with its unique labor and employment issues to identify the best and most practical solutions as quickly as possible. A regular speaker at continuing legal education seminars, Mr. Hunt also helped the firm serve as general counsel to the Georgia Hospitality and Trial Association. Mr. Hunt's practice has included work for Interstate Hotels, Radisson Hotels, Swiss Hotels, TGI Friday's, Rare Hospitality Buena Vista Hospitality Group, Four Seasons Hotels, The Georgia Aquarium, Outback Steakhouse, Ted's Montana Grill, the Krystal Company, Chubb Insurance, and Liberty Insurance Company. Mr. Hunt received his J.D. from the College of William & Mary, his B.S., magna cum laude from Boston University and his B.A., magna cum laude from Boston University.

Mr. Hunt can be contacted at 404-766-0076 or jhunt@stokeswagner.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.