Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Suomi

Michael Suomi

Principal and Vice President Interior Design, Stonehill & Taylor

Michael Suomi is Principal and VP of Interior Design at Stonehill & Taylor where he leads the firm's interior design practice. Mr. Suomi has an extensive background in creating unique and high-profile hospitality projects for a long list of clients including Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Disney, as well as a number of independent hotel brands. His approach to design is based on the idea of developing a strong narrative for each project based on its distinct characteristics such as its history, location, and cultural significance. His design vision ensures that a close link to the concept is maintained from initial programming and planning, all the way to the smallest executional detail. Mr. Suomi leads in the area of social sustainability in design, championing the use of design's purchasing power to create jobs and lift economies. His work for hotels and restaurants has been recognized through various industry awards including the HD Awards and Boutique Design Awards. Mr. Suomi is the co-founder of Futuregreen Hospitality Forum in partnership with Interior Design Magazine, which brings together hotel brands, designers and manufacturers every year to determine and implement actionable steps for positive impact in the near future. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Radical Innovation, an annual competition that challenges the hotel industry by seeking new ideas in design and operations. His prior executive experience includes: Rockwell Group - Senior Associate, Studio Design Director; Jordan Mozer and Associates - Director of Architecture; MacEwen + Mr. Suomi - President, Director of Design.

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

Mr. Suomi can be contacted at 212-226-8898 or email@stonehilltaylor.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.