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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.