Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Popely

Deborah Popely

Assistant Professor, School of Hospitality Management , Kendall College

Deborah Popely has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality field and more than 12 years' experience as a sustainability consultant and educator. She is currently Associate Professor at Kendall College's School of Hospitality Management, where she leads the curriculum for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) and conducts research on global MICE industry issues. She recently traveled to China to participate in an international MICE conference and has written about the experience for academic and popular journals. Ms. Popely has significant experience in hospitality education and training, having developed workshops, conferences and courses for colleges and universities, associations, government agencies and foundations. She is in the process of earning a doctorate in business (DBA) with a focus on sustainability in hospitality and tourism from Walden University. Ms. Popely is also the founding executive director of Green Events Source, a non-profit dedicated to increasing sustainability in the events and hospitality industries. A long-time leader in sustainable hospitality, Popely participated in the development and launch of the APEX-ASTM Sustainable Meetings Standard and founded the Green Meeting Industry Council Chicago Chapter. She published the Green Events Sourcebook, a multi-media guide to green meetings and events, from 2008- 2011, and in 2013 launched The Green Event App, an online sustainable supplier-selection tool for the meetings and events market. Ms. Popely has written extensively on green hospitality and related topics and has served as a presenter and keynote speaker for local, regional and national industry organizations. These include the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Hospitality and Sales Marketing Association International (HSMAI), Destination Marketing Association (DMAI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Meeting Planners International (MPI), and the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC). Ms. Popely has significant experience in sustainability education and training, having developed workshops, conferences and courses for colleges and universities, associations, government agencies and foundations. She is in the process of earning a doctorate in business (DBA) with a focus on sustainability in hospitality and tourism from Walden University.

Ms. Popely can be contacted at 312-752-2216 or Deborah.popely@kendall.edu

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.