Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chouinard

Keith Chouinard

Director of Sales & Marketing, Hotel Viking

As Director of Sales & Marketing for Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island, Keith Chouinard is responsible for the hotel's sales and marketing efforts including promotions, strategic partnerships, and new business development. Mr. Chouinard joined Hotel Viking in December 2015, one month prior to the historic hotel's renovations and six months before the hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary. Since joining the team, Mr. Chouinard has developed strategic partnerships with local sporting events including the Newport International Polo Series; retail outlets such as Marc Allen Clothiers; and welcomed more than 20 online, print and broadcast media guests to the landmark hotel. Mr. Chouinard's career began in high school when he worked as a banquet server at Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA. While attending University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he quickly moved up to banquet manager. After earning his degree in restaurant and travel administration, he joined Hyatt Regency in Lake Tahoe. Mr. Chouinard then served as director of sales with the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, and then headed back East to take the role as Director of Business Development for Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Cape Cod, MA. Prior to joining Hotel Viking, Mr. Chouinard was affiliated with the Hyatt Regency Newport where he significantly increased groups business resulting in a nomination for Director of Sales of the Year for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts nationwide. Mr. Chouinard earned the 2015 Director of Sales of the Year Award from Davidson Hotels & Resorts, the company that owns the Hyatt property in Newport. Mr. Chouinard, who serves on the Board of Discover Newport, brings more than 15 years of experience in hospitality sales to the Hotel Viking team.

Please visit http://www.hotelviking.com for more information.

Mr. Chouinard can be contacted at 401-847-3300 or kchouinard@hotelviking.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.