Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. McKay

Marigrace McKay

OpEx Professional, Self

Marigrace McKay is an experienced Strategic Management and Operations Excellence (OpEx), professional - and she loves her job! She has worked across many industries including but not limited to: hospitality, energy, telecommunications, DOD/engineering, consumer and durable goods. Her first post-college job was with Canadian Pacific Hotels in Washington, DC group sales in the association and diplomatic markets. She also sold for Holiday Inns International Canada (CHIC) - so she truly understands the inside workings of getting and growing satisfied hotel clientele and the hospitality industry in general. Ms. McKay is a F500 Project Manager of Change Management and Performance Improvement (PI). She has served key executive partner roles in accelerating business growth and strategic goal achievement. She is a certified Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt, and holds several professional HR Management certifications (SHRM-SCP, SPHR) including Change Management and as a Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). Ms. McKay earned a Master of Science, Management degree from The Johns Hopkins University. A 10-year career with leading consultancies formed her systems thinking. Recently with Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods) she led the leadership development program for 400 managers in the largest North America business unit. In that role Ms. McKay and her team designed and implemented an e-learning academy. This later proved to deliver a calculated 3-sigma learner effectiveness. For classroom learning, she managed 23,000 hours. She has managed HR Departments in union and non-union environments, 2,200 employees. Her favorite city is Barcelona - pinchos and tapas on the Med! 2nd fav? US State Parks.

Ms. McKay can be contacted at 423-653-7696 or mg62529@att.net

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.