Editorial Board   

Mr. Hall

Stephen Hall

Founder, Brandworks Distribution LLC

Stephen S.J. Hall was a 1956 graduate of the school of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. He also holds an MBA with high honors from Michigan State University as well as a Masters Degree in Divinity from Harvard. After serving as a Marine Corps officer from 1956 to 1958 he spent most of his career in the hospitality industry starting as a field engineer with Sheraton Corporation. He was promoted to Director of Operations Support for ITT Sheraton leaving in 1971 to become Vice President for Administration of Harvard where he managed 10 departments with an annual budget of $95 million dollars spending an additional 300 million per annum for new construction. While at ITT Sheraton one of his duties was as the first Quality Assurance Director in the industry. In 1981 he formed a quality assurance consulting company and implemented the first quality assurance program in the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The company also put in programs in the Bahamas as well as several hotels in the US including the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Mr. Hall has taught Quality Assurance at several universities including Cornell, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, New Hampshire, the Instut de Management Hoteiier in Cergy- Pontoise, France as well as Glion in Switzerland where he was also the Director of Studies. He has given seminars worldwide. He has also held positions as Pastor of the Congregational church in Cohasset Massachusetts and the Associate Pastor of the American Church in Paris, France. Mr. Hall has written and published four books: QUALITY ASSURANCE IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY - The American Society for Quality Control, READINGS IN ETHICS - Education Institute of AH&LA, JOURNEY TO EXCELLENCE - Dog Ear Press and PLUMB BOB - Dog Ear Press. While quality assurance is traditionally defined as conformance to standards will Mr. Hall has promoted the idea that conformance to standards alone is insufficient. Standards must be “right” standards thus introducing ethics and replaces quality assurance with the word excellence as the ultimate goal. Excellence is defined as “consistently doing right things.” Although several surveys, in recent years, indicated that managers have a strong interest in ethics and consider the practice of ethics to be beneficial to the bottom line, few hotels have a comprehensive program of ethics in place. The problem is analyzed in the book PLUMB BOB which also includes a new theory of which can be easily taught to employees

Mr. Hall can be contacted at Larry_Hall@SpringerMiller.com

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.