Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Van Wees

Hans Van Wees

General Manager, Hotel Vermont

Hans Van Wees is General Manager of Hotel Vermont. Appointed in December 2012, he is responsible for managing the contemporary, LEED-certified address located in the heart of Burlington, overseeing all operations including sales and marketing and food and beverage. A seasoned hospitality professional with extensive hotel experience in the Green Mountain State, Mr. Van Wees arrived at Hotel Vermont following senior leadership roles at hotels across New England, Europe and the Caribbean. Trained as an officer in the Dutch army, he launched his career in the Netherlands with Sonesta International Hotels and Resorts before transferring to Bermuda to take up various senior management positions at the 400-room Sonesta Beach Resort and Spa. Mr. Van Wees then moved to the U.S. as General Manager of the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. He also provided consulting services to a variety of businesses throughout New England, including Jay Peak Resort in Jay, Vermont, where he led the opening of the boutique Tram Haus Lodge - a key component of the resort's $200 million expansion. Along with his hotel management expertise, Mr. Van Wees is a passionate advocate of sustainable development and operating practices in the hospitality industry. He has spoken on the subject at industry conferences and served as chairman of the Vermont Hospitality Council. He is also actively involved in hospitality education in Vermont, most recently as an adjunct professor at the Business Department of Johnson State College. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Mr. Van Wees studied Hospitality Management at the School for Hospitality Management in The Hague and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is fluent in English and Dutch and also speaks German and French. Mr. Van Wees, his wife, Karen, and their son live in Burlington where they enjoy sailing on Lake Champlain as well as biking, hiking and cross-country skiing surrounded by the beauty of Vermont.

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

Mr. Van Wees can be contacted at 802-651-0080 or talktous@hotelvt.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.