Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hickel

Gerard Hickel

Attorney, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Gerard J. Hickel is a Member of the Hospitality and Gaming practice at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, a national, full-service AmLaw 200 law firm with 15 offices in the U.S., including: Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; Newark and Princeton, New Jersey; Buffalo and White Plains, New York; Wilmington, Delaware; Richmond, Virginia; Hartford, Connecticut; Troy, Michigan; Providence, Rhode Island; and Charleston, West Virginia.

Mr. Hickel focuses his practice primarily in the areas of hospitality and corporate law. His practice includes the representation of domestic and international hotel and spa management companies, owners, developers, and asset managers in numerous types of corporate transactions, including acquisitions, mergers, and financings.

Mr. Hickel's hospitality practice includes the drafting, review, and negotiation of all types of agreements related to hotel, spa, and restaurant management and operations; the purchase and sale of hotels; the franchising of a hospitality-based property, including the application process; and a wide range of day-to-day hotel-related agreements for numerous hotel management companies and ownership groups, including equipment leases, space leases, antenna license agreements, room accommodation agreements, group sales agreements, advertising agreements, location agreements, commitment agreements, as well as other similar types of agreements.

Mr. Hickel also has many years of experience providing general business counseling advice, regularly guiding clients through the formation and preparation of agreements relating to corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and other entities.

Mr. Hickel earned his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

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

Mr. Hickel can be contacted at 412-566-1906 or ghickel@eckertseamans.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.