Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Blake

Michael Blake

Chief Executive Officer, Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG)

Michael Blake is the Chief Executive Officer of Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG). Mr. Blake previously served as the CIO of Commune Hotels & Resorts, encompassing Joie de Vivre, Thompson, Tommie and Alila Hotels. He provided strategic leadership and sound perspective to contribute to the management and evolution of Commune's global IT functions.

Before his role at Commune, Mr. Blake was the CIO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation where he set the global technology direction for their global footprint. He has over 20 years of experience in finance and technology from various roles at numerous companies. Before his CIO positions with Commune and Hyatt, Mr. Blake was SVP of IT for First Data, CFO of IT Finance at Kaiser Permanente and Director of IT Finance for Sears. In each role, he was the highest-ranking IT Finance resource and key internal consultant and advisor to international senior leadership teams.

Prior to that, Mr. Blake held various financial roles within United Airlines including the controller of the IT organization.

Mr. Blake holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Utah, received his Master of Business Administration in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and also his Master of Science in Information Technology from Northwestern University. He also maintains several credentials and licenses: CPA, CMA, CISA, CITP.

Mr. Blake served as a member of HTNG's Board of Governors since 2009 and held the Treasurer position for many of those years.

Please visit http://www.htng.org for more information.

Mr. Blake can be contacted at 847-303-5560 or michael.blake@htng.org

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.