Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Zemke

Dina Zemke

Assistant Professor William f. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dina Marie Zemke, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she primarily teaches courses in facilities management. Prior to her academic career, she obtained industry experience with Hilton Hotels, starting in the property operations department at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, followed by the Tarrytown Hilton. She followed that with a career in sales with Otis Elevator in New York and Wisconsin. One of Dr. Zemke's research interests is examining hotel design and its relationship with property performance and guest and employee satisfaction. The work is focusing on how to determine how assessing design quality can help in the capital reinvestment decision-making process. An additional research area examines how to incorporate hospitality principles into healthcare settings to improve hospital performance and patient satisfaction. Past projects include the studies of ambient scent and ambient noise in hospitality settings, gaming customer profiling, and hotel cleanliness. She has published in numerous academic journals and co-authored a textbook, Managing the Built Environment in Hospitality Facilities, with fellow UNLV faculty member Thomas Jones. Dr. Zemke holds BOMI's Real Property Administrator designation and is also holds the LEED-Green Associate credential. She is a member of the Nevada chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as the AH&LA's Sustainability Committee. An active member of the Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Educators (CHRIE), she serves as the chair of the Facilities Management special interest group, which exists to support hospitality educators who teach facilities planning, management, and design. She is also a member of the CHRIE Research SIG and the Environmental Hospitality Issues SIG. Dr. Zemke has a Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and MBA from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, and a BS from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. Prior to returning to UNLV in 2012, she also taught in hospitality programs at the University of New Hampshire, Cornell University, and Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte.

Dr. Zemke can be contacted at 702-895-4844 or dina.zemke@unlv.edu

Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.