Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Vandevender

Jim Vandevender

Chief Marketing Officer, Knowland

Jim Vandevender is Chief Marketing Officer at Knowland. Mr. Vandevender joined Knowland in 2012. He has supported various departments within the company including data and research and has been actively involved in supporting the development team in the redevelopment of Knowland's Insight tool and in the creation of the new Market Analytics tool. He works closely with the sales department in the areas of training and developing customer relationship skills.

Currently, Mr. Vandevender manages Knowland's marketing department, including all aspects of social media, new product launches, and supporting all processes for creating, communicating, and delivering Knowland products to customers.

Mr. Vandevender is an award-winning hotel industry veteran, having spent more than 20 years in various sales positions within Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts. Among the properties where he worked was New York's Waldorf Astoria, where he began as a Senior Sales Manager. He has been awarded AICPA's Supplier of the Year Award given to the National Account Manager providing the highest level of service to AICPA's meeting planning division.

Before coming to Knowland, Mr. Vandevender held the position of Vice President of Training and Development for ConferenceDirect for 7 years, where he managed one of the company's largest Strategic Meeting Management accounts and was the Team Leader for CD's largest team of sales associates. In addition to these duties, Mr. Vandevender was responsible for training all of ConferenceDirect's associates. He was awarded ConferenceDirect's “Hero of the Year Award” for three consecutive years for being the person making the most impact on ConferenceDirect associates.

Mr. Vandevender also worked on the Microsoft account. He also was the recipient of the Hilton Achievement Award for ConferencDirect Team Microsoft for his work. In 2015, Mr. Vandevender was appointed to HSMAI's Sales Advisory Board. He has been a featured speaker at many HSMAI conferences and events including the 2016 Hotel Management Company Roundtable. Mr. Vandevender is also a proud Member of Skål International, Washington - a professional organization of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry.

Mr. Vandevender has a large presence on LinkedIn with almost 12,000 Followers who receive his weekly blogs on trend and industry developments within the hotel industry. He has been featured in various hotel and meetings trade publications.

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

Mr. Vandevender can be contacted at 202-351-1552 or jvandevender@knowland.com

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.