Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Van Deventer

Paul Van Deventer

President & Chief Executive Officer, Meeting Professionals International (MPI)

Paul Van Deventer joined MPI in April 2013 as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, he leads the strategic direction of the association and is responsible for managing its global staff, operating budget, and membership programs and services.

In addition, Mr. Van Deventer works closely with MPI's Board of Directors and serves as a liaison to the MPI Foundation. He has held a variety of leadership positions throughout his career and has a proven track record for driving business growth and creating brand value.

Mr. Van Deventer most recently served as divisional vice president of the Health & Wellness Division at Walgreens, the largest drug store chain in the United States. Prior to Walgreens, he was the senior vice president of Sales and Field Services at Mitchell International, Inc., a leading provider of information, software and business solutions for the automotive insurance and collision repair markets.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Van Deventer spent 22 years with American Express where he gained experience with the business travel and meeting and event industries. He held positions as director of Multinational Sales and Operations, managing a global business unit with responsibility for more than 50 business travel customer service centers, 500 employees and a meetings/events group focused on the automotive industry.

He also served as vice president and head of Corporate Services Sales - Australia and New Zealand, with responsibility for corporate card and business travel services, and later as vice president and general manager of Corporate Services, Western United States and vice president and general manager of the Multinational Client Group.

Mr. Van Deventer currently serves as a board member for the U.S. Travel Association and Convention Industry Council. He is also an advisory board member for Women In Travel (WINit). Mr. Van Deventer holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Villanova University and an MBA with a finance concentration from Columbia University.

Please visit http://www.mpiweb.org for more information.

Mr. Van Deventer can be contacted at +1 972-702-3098 or pvandeventer@mpiweb.org

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.