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 December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.