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 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.