Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Kolakowski

Heather Kolakowski

Lecturer in Food and Beverage Management, School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University

Heather Kolakowski is a lecturer in food and beverage management at the School of Hotel Administration (SHA). She teaches several food and beverage courses, including Restaurant Management, Contemporary Healthy Foods, as well as Hunger, Health and Nonprofit Social Enterprise. She is also the faculty advisor for Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC), the student-run hospitality showcase conference which allows students the opportunity to put theory into practice while taking on leadership responsibilities each spring. Ms. Kolakowski has also taught at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. Her courses included Beverage Operations Management, Spirits and Principles of Mixology, Advanced Principles of Service in Hospitality Management, Introductory Table Service in the dining room of St. Andrew's Cafe, and Formal Hospitality and Service Management in the American Bounty Restaurant on the CIA campus. These front-of-the-house classes review the principles of fine service and hospitality in a restaurant setting, emphasizing customer service, beverages including wine and spirits, restaurant trends, and sales. In addition to her service classes, she has also taught the elective Women in Leadership. A 2000 graduate of SHA and a 2002 graduate of the CIA, Ms. Kolakowski returned to her culinary alma mater in 2008 after serving as food and beverage manager for the Four Seasons Hotel Company in Washington, D.C. and Jackson Hole, WY. Her additional professional experience includes assistant manager for the Peninsula Grille in Warrington, PA, and teaching assistant at both the CIA and Cornell University. Awarded an MBA at SUNY Empire State College in December 2013, Ms. Kolakowski is also a member of the Women's Foodservice Forum, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, the United States Bartender's Guild Association, and the Cornell Hotel Society. Ms. Kolakowski is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) and certified TIPS responsible alcohol service instructor.

Please visit http://www.cornell.edu for more information.

Ms. Kolakowski can be contacted at 607-255-8397 or haf30@cornell.edu

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.