Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bridges

Cerise Bridges

Certification Specialist, Green Seal

Cerise Bridges is a Chicago native with fifteen years of work at the intersection of hospitality and environmental protection. Currently a Certification Specialist for the nation's premier environmental standard developer and certifier, Green Seal®, her specialty for the last eight years has been assisting hotels, restaurants and cleaning services with implementing comprehensive sustainability improvements and evaluating their progress towards earning certification.

Since graduating from Howard University with a B.B.A in Hospitality Management and from American University with a M.A. in Environmental Policy, Ms. Bridges has served environmental organizations, large and small, in many capacities.  Her initiatives have included protecting city parks across the U.S. with The Trust for Public Land; conserving land and water in the Caribbean and Central America for The Nature Conservancy; training future environmental leaders at the Environmental Leadership Program; and now driving sustainability in the hospitality industry by facilitating Green Seal's hotel certification program. Ms. Bridges got her start in the hospitality industry working in the front of the house as a Concierge and Front Desk Associate at hotels in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, and has served as part of a management team for Aramark at a university food service operation in Washington, D.C. 

Ms. Bridges believes the hospitality industry is a microcosm of the greater community.  Given the sheer volume of daily purchases and resources used, it has the ability and -- more importantly -- the responsibility to reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, and limit water usage.  The implementation of even the most basic initiatives can benefit both our environment and the hotel's bottom line. 

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

Ms. Bridges can be contacted at 202-872-6400 or cbridges@greenseal.org

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.