Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Pinabell

Andrea Pinabell

Vice President Sustainability, Global Citizenship, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Andrea Pinabell, Vice President Sustainability and Global Citizenship joined Starwood in 2011 and is responsible for the strategy, integration, operation and management of Starwood's sustainability program across its 11 brands (Westin, Sheraton, W, Le Meridien, St. Regis, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, Element and The Luxury Collection, Tribute and Design Hotels along with Starwood Vacation Ownership) and throughout Starwood's global footprint of more than 1,300 properties in over 100 countries. In this role, Ms. Pinabell oversees the development and implementation of Starwood's comprehensive strategy, goals, reporting, partnerships and programs with regards to carbon emissions & energy, water conservation and risk, climate change, sustainable food & beverage and supply chain as well as its sustainable (green) building and community development strategy across Starwood's owned, managed and franchise portfolio. In addition, Ms. Pinabell leads Starwood's Hotel of the Future project, a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainable design, development and operation of Starwood's hotels with a keen focus on building resilience and adaptation into its business model. Ms. Pinabell brings to Starwood more than 20 years of global sustainability, CSR, philanthropic and environmental management experience. Prior to Starwood, she was most recently the Director of the Sustainable Cites Institute and managed the Sustainable Community Development program at The Home Depot Foundation. Ms. Pinabell sits on several councils and boards including Conservation International's Business Sustainability Council and the NOAA Ocean Sanctuary Business Council. She holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering with an environmental focus from Iowa State University and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Ms. Pinabell can be contacted at 203-964-4501 or andrea.pinabell@starwoodhotels.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.