Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hess

Michael Hess

Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Waste Harmonics

Michael Hess is founder and chief executive officer of Waste Harmonics, a Rochester, New York-based company that provides customized waste and recycling management solutions for businesses across North America. Waste Harmonics is a unique waste management company providing service brokering in the waste industry. The company manages waste contracts and third-party vendors, and ultimately helps customers with what every business develops: waste. Customized program solutions address waste generator expectations and requirements, dealing with single-source management of service suppliers, quality of service, reduction of costs, data and reporting analytics, consolidated invoicing and landfill diversion. These unique service solutions create value for customers by continuously supporting their ongoing efforts to improve economic and environmental performances.

Mr. Hess leads Waste Harmonics' team of waste/recycling, technology, logistics and customer service experts who broker waste and recycling services — which deliver significant costs savings — for single- and multi-location businesses in a wide range of business categories, including retail, grocery, restaurant, travel center, logistics, distribution and shipping.

Prior to founding Waste Harmonics, Mr. Hess served as vice president of U.S. operations for Capital Environmental Resource Inc., a $120 million in revenue solid waste collection and disposal company with operations in the Northeastern United States and Canada. During his tenure at Capital Environment, Hess served as an integral part in the acquisition, start-up and integration of 11 solid waste companies over two and a half years. Mr. Hess acquired Waste Harmonics from Capital Environment in 2001 and has since grown the business from a solely Northeastern United States focus to serving customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. He holds a bachelor's degree in management from SUNY Empire State College and serves on the Nazareth College Board of Trustees.

Mr. Hess can be contacted at 585-924-9640 or mhess@wasteharmonics.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.