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 December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.