Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Stevens

Wendy Stevens

Chief Commercial Officer, First Hospitality Group

According to Chief Commercial Officer, Wendy Stevens, to be successful at First Hospitality Group one must make sure that they are adding value. “Focus on the priorities and don't get caught up in the minutia. Commit to what you say you're going to execute and get it done.” In her role, Ms. Stevens is responsible for developing and executing company strategy at a high level, pinpointing valuable business opportunities, and scouting out the best of the best for our workforce. Disciplined and determined in her approach, every challenge that comes across her desk is met with a sense of urgency that guarantees results.

Ms. Stevens' methods have proven successful time and again over her 17 years with First Hospitality Group, but the accomplishment with which she is most proud is the assemblage of her team of innovative leaders. “When I first started, we had 17 hotels in our portfolio and there were only three sales people, including myself, to work with them.” Since then, First Hospitality Group's portfolio has more than tripled; departments dedicated to marketing and revenue management have been developed to offer more holistic and dedicated support, and a total sales department of 3 grew to a team of more than 20. She attributes her success to the singular idea that, “There is nothing that you can't do; the only limits that we have, we set for ourselves.”

When she's not working with the brands to forge strong partnerships or sitting on civic committees as a representative of First Hospitality Group, you may find Ms. Stevens on the back of her Harley, flying down a zip-line, or scaling the side of a cliff. In her personal life just as in her professional life, she takes risks, moves quickly, and is fully committed to everything that she approaches. In both capacities, she pushes the limits of herself and those tenacious enough to keep up with her.

 


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

Ms. Stevens can be contacted at 224-257-4000 or wstevens@fhginc.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.