Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Opar

John Opar

Partner, Real Estate Practice, Shearman & Sterling LLP

John Opar is a partner in the Real Estate practice. He has extensive experience in all areas of commercial real estate law, including foreign investment in U.S. real estate. He has worked frequently on Shari'ah compliant investments and has been involved in development projects in the U.S., the Middle East, China, England, Germany and the Philippines. Some of his most recent representation includes advising Qatar Investment Authority on its investment in Manhattan West, a development site valued upon completion at up to US$8.6 billion, advising Wafra Investment Advisory Group, Inc. in the acquisition of numerous multi-family and office properties including in New York; Washington, D.C.; Miami, Florida advising Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait with respect to an investment in a joint venture to acquire a US$1 billion+ portfolio of regional shopping centers and advising a sovereign wealth fund in connection with investments with an operating partner in Manhattan office properties at 230 Park Avenue and 350 Madison Avenue. Mr. Opar received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A. from Swarthmore College. Mr. Opar is a member of the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Arab Bankers Association of North America and the Real Estate Board of New York . Mr. Opar has authored several publications and participated in a number of speaking engagements at seminars and conferences on various real estate subjects. He has also been recognized in Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Real Estate Lawyers, New York Super Lawyers and The International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers.

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

Mr. Opar can be contacted at 212-848-7697 or jopar@shearman.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.