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 August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.