Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Brown

Banks Brown

Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Banks Brown is a partner in the New York office of McDermott Will & Emery. He has served as outside General Counsel for the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. for 22 years. He helped to found the Travel Business Roundtable and served as its General Counsel until it was merged into the US Travel Association. He is co-author of a recognized treatise on hospitality law entitled “Understanding Hospitality Law” (4th Ed. Educational Institute, AHLA). He is the 2006 recipient of the Anthony G. Marshall Award for Pioneering and Continuous Contribution to Hospitality Law and the 2010 Distinguished Service Award of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. He speaks yearly at the Hospitality Law Conference of HospitalityLawyer.com, where he hosts the hotel inside counsel segment. Early in his career, Mr. Brown represented the American Stock Exchange in shareholder actions under Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act, numerous consumer class actions under the now-defunct Department of Energy price controls on oil and gas, and a decade-long series of class actions arising out of Gulf Oil Corporation's tender offer for the stock of Cities Service Corporation. He continues to represent parties involved in complex litigation. As a result of his extensive litigation experience, Mr. Brown has a deep working knowledge of cost, fee and risk analysis. Mr. Brown was admitted New York State Bar in 1978. He was graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1977 and Harvard College (cum laude) in 1974.

Mr. Brown can be contacted at 212-547-5361 or bbrown@mwe.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.