Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fortney

Eli Fortney

Executive Chef, Topnotch Resort

Eli Fortney grew up in Montpelier, Vermont. A high school community-based learning program led him an internship at A Single Pebble, a fine-dining classic Chinese restaurant. During his time there, the restaurant was recognized as the best restaurant in Vermont by several publications. His experience incited a passion to continue his education at The Culinary Institute of America, where he interned and became sous chef for a fine dining restaurant group in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mr. Fortney's culinary curiosity led him to the prestigious Broadmoor Resort in Colorado, the country's oldest five-star/five-diamond property, and then to Las Vegas. A variety of positions on the strip gave him experience in high-volume, fast casual, and fine dining. He was chosen to collaborate with celebrity chef Kerry Simon in opening a gourmet burger restaurant. He continued his career in hotel dining for Maine-based Olympia Hotel Management Group, which led him to Portland, Maine, and Durham, North Carolina. During his time with Olympia Hotel Management Group, Mr. Fortney worked with a team that together earned the distinction of being named the number one hotel out of over 660 properties worldwide for a Hilton brand. Mr. Fortney is accredited as a Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Administrator by the American Culinary Federation. Mr. Fortney's desire to return to his roots led him to explore opportunities in his home state of Vermont. He is currently the Executive Chef for Topnotch Resort and Spa, where he oversees all aspects of the culinary team for two restaurants and a high-volume banquet and catering department.

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

Mr. Fortney can be contacted at 802-253-6479 or efortney@topnotchresort.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.