Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Stevens

Wendy Stevens

Executive Vice President, First Hospitality Group

In her role as executive vice president of First Hospitality Group (FHG), Wendy 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 was exposed to the world of hospitality from an early age, becoming increasingly familiar with back-of-house operations as her mother lived and worked in a hotel. Despite her varied focuses in school, ranging from political science to fashion merchandising, it was the time spent working guest services in a front office during college that ultimately shaped her career path. Ms. Stevens joined FHG in 2001. Throughout her 14 years with FHG, the accomplishment about which she is most proud is the assemblage of her team of innovative leaders. When she joined FHG, there were only 17 hotels in the portfolio and only two other sales people. Since then, FHG’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 three 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. Ms. Stevens has truly seen hotels from every angle, from suburban 80-room select service hotels to 500-room downtown convention centers, giving her the knowledge and first-hand understanding necessary to excel in her collaboration with people at all levels. 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 May 2018...

Eco-Friendly Practices: The Greening of Your Bottom Line

There are strong moral and ethical reasons why a hotel should incorporate eco-friendly practices into their business but it is also becoming abundantly clear that “going green” can dramatically improve a hotel's bottom line. When energy-saving measures are introduced - fluorescent bulbs, ceiling fans, linen cards, lights out cards, motion sensors for all public spaces, and energy management systems - energy bills are substantially reduced. When water-saving equipment is introduced - low-flow showerheads, low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and serving water only on request in restaurants - water bills are also considerably reduced. Waste hauling is another major expense which can be lowered through recycling efforts and by avoiding wastefully-packaged products. Vendors can be asked to deliver products in minimal wrapping, and to deliver products one day, and pick up the packaging materials the next day - generating substantial savings. In addition, renewable sources of energy (solar, geothermal, wind, etc.) have substantially improved the economics of using alternative energies at the property level. There are other compelling reasons to initiate sustainability practices in their operation. Being green means guests and staff are healthier, which can lead to an increase in staff retention, as well as increased business from health conscious guests. Also, sooner or later, all properties will be sold, and green hotels will command a higher price due to its energy efficiencies. Finally, some hotels qualify for tax credits, subsidies and rebates from local, regional and federal governments for the eco-friendly investments they've made in their hotels. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some hotels are integrating sustainable practices into their operations and how their hotels are benefiting from them.