Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Rondeau

Darlene Rondeau

Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising, Leonardo

Darlene Rondeau has more than 25 years of sales and marketing leadership focused on providing solutions for Fortune 1000 Companies, primarily in the travel industry. Currently, Rondeau is Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising for Leonardo. In this role, Ms. Rondeau has the objective of heightening awareness of new digital visual storytelling techniques that motive consumers throughout their travel shopping journey. Leonardo is an technology company serving the global hospitality industry. Leonardo provides e-marketers at hotel brands, management companies, hotel properties and travel websites with technology solutions that improve the way they present their hotels online to travel shoppers. Formerly at Leonardo, Ms. Rondeau held the position of Vice President, Hotels, The Americas. Ms. Rondeau previously served as Vice-President Sales and Marketing for G2 SwitchWorks, a travel technology company that integrates its private network of airlines and other supplier content into a web based single point of sales solution for Travel Companies. Prior executive roles include Vice President for Sabre Integrated Media, the largest access portal to the world's travelers as well as serving as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Agresso Travel Industry Solutions; a Netherlands based software provider of ERP solutions. Ms. Rondeau was with Sabre and its former parent, AMR, since 1979. Other positions with the company included Director, Airline Distribution; Director, National Accounts, Manager; Canadian Division Sales & Service; Regional Manager, Business Travel Solutions, and special assignments in Europe and Hong Kong. Her international experience contributes to the diversity and adaptability with which Ms. Rondeau conducts business. Over the last 2 decades, Ms. Rondeau's client list includes worldwide brands such as American Airlines, AT&T, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Disney, General Electric, Southwest Airlines, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, The Mark Travel Corporation and USA Today. Ms. Rondeau earned her degree in Travel and Tourism from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. She is a frequent speaker at industry events including HSMAI, IHG Owners Association, University of North Texas Hospitality School and Eye for Travel. Additionally, she hosts regularly scheduled educational webinars on the subject of digital storytelling for the hospitality industry, along with exclusive presentations for the world's top brands.

Ms. Rondeau can be contacted at 416-593-6634 or darlene.rondeau@leonardo.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.