Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Hart

Christina Hart

Senior Principal / Director of Hospitality Interiors, HOK New York

Christina Hart has honed a niche in designing signature restaurants, premier spas and upscale luxury suites and hotels. She has overseen the renovation of the historic Hotel du Parc in Switzerland for Kempinski; The Fairmont Oman Resort in the Persian Gulf; select spaces of the world renowned Waldorf Astoria in New York as well as design renovations and new builds four- and five-star hospitality projects in the U.S. and around the world. Ms. Hart's diverse roster of projects also includes completing corporate interiors for: Nestle Waters North America, Merrill Lynch, Met Life and Morgan Stanley during her tenure at both Haverson Architecture & Design and WBTL. Recent work includes: a refresh of the Asiate Restaurant, renovating the One Bedroom Suites and concept and design of the penthouse space, Suite 5000, all at the Mandarin Oriental New York; select spaces at the Statler Hotel of Cornell University; and the InterContinental Hotel at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Ms. Hart's re-design of the Al Faisaliah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will open in 2017. The premier resort, which was built a decade ago by Lord Norman Foster, is located in a towering skyscraper and celebrated as one of Riyadh's most impressive properties, catering to discerning business and international visitors. Her launch of the first Melia Hotel in North America earned a Gold Key Award in 2012. A frequent lecturer and panelist, she has spoken at Cornell's Center for Hospitality Design Research Roundtable at the Cornell Hotel School. Ms. Hart holds a B.S. in Design & Environmental Analysis from Cornell University. Prior to BBG-BBGM's merging with HOK, she was an Interiors Partner.

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

Ms. Hart can be contacted at 646-385-7653 or christina.hart@hok.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.