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 September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.