Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Kalanda

Jan Kalanda

Co-Founder, Morgansheer Hospitality

Jan Kalanda is a co-founder of Morgansheer Hospitality, an in-house hospitality team at Level Group, an innovative, full-service commercial and residential New York real estate brokerage company.

Born in Czechoslovakia, Mr Kalanda emigrated to the U.S. in 1983, becoming an American Citizen in 1989. Mr. Kalanda began his 32-year hospitality career as Chief Engineer at the Garden City Hotel in New York. This experience at an iconic, 1874 Long Island landmark, with 272 rooms, multiple restaurants, conference facilities and a spa, laid the foundation for his successful career in property and hotel management.

In 2002, Mr. Kalanda became a founding member of HK Hotels. As Executive Vice President he oversaw the development, opening and operations of six properties over a 15 year span in New York and Prague. With HK Hotels, Kalanda was responsible for all aspects of the pre-opening from design, to construction, to coordinating the opening with the property supporting and operations teams.

The luxury properties became premiere boutique hotels in NYC and Prague, including the 100-room Wales Hotel, the 103-room Elysee Hotel, 50-room Casablanca Hotel, 60-room Library Hotel, 73-room Giraffe Hotel and the 52-room Aria Hotel in Prague.

In 2008 Mr. Kalanda joined the Gansevoort Hotel Group, a young and dynamic company that had the vision to develop its first property in New York's Meatpacking District. The hotel became the company's flagship and led to a complete renaissance in the area.

As part of the Executive team, he was instrumental in searching, developing and opening new properties. A further three properties were added to the Gansevoort portfolio: the Gansevoort South in South Beach, Florida; the ultra deluxe Gansevoort Turks & Caicos; and the 249-room Gansevoort Park in Midtown, New York City. All properties are now globally established, thriving financially and remain stable.

Recently, Mr. Kalanda helped to found the in-house hospitality team, Morgensheer Hospitality, at Level Group. Backed up by Level Group's commercial brokerage resources, Mr. Kalanda and his partner, Trica Jean-Baptiste, are uniquely positioned to address the full scope of the hospitality industry's real estate needs.

Please visit http://www.kalanda.us for more information.

Mr. Kalanda can be contacted at +1 917-593-3037 or jan@kalanda.us

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.