Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fernandez

Eduardo Fernandez

General Manager, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

Eduardo Fernandez is a seasoned hospitality industry professional with more than 30 years of diverse hospitality experience.

Mr. Fernandez began his hospitality education with the Institut de Tourisme & D'Hotellerie du Quebec for hotel management and later, Barry University for a bachelor's degree in management. He went on to launch his career at Le Centre Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Montreal and managed numerous properties for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Boston, New York, Delaware and Miami. He then went on to work with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and managed various properties for W Hotels.

Mr. Fernandez spent two years serving as general manager of B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, where he played a key role in the successful turnaround of B Hotels & Resorts' flagship hotel. Upon the 2014 sale of B Ocean, he was retained as general manager, and has since helped seamlessly transition the property into a successful new addition to the Sonesta Hotel & Resorts portfolio.

Mr. Fernandez is heavily involved in the local business community. He is the chairman of the Beach Business Improvement District for the City of Fort Lauderdale (4 years) and chairman of the Beach Council for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He also sits on the boards of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Broward Chapter, as immediate past president and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He is a part of the Greater Fort Lauderdale GM Council and also sits on the Broward Tourism Coalition Council.

As general manager, Mr. Fernandez maintains the operations of the property, featuring 240 guestrooms boasting panoramic views of Fort Lauderdale Beach or the Intracoastal Waterway. Opened in April 2019, he also supports Steelpan, the hotel's Caribbean-American fusion ocean-front restaurant.

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

Mr. Fernandez can be contacted at +1 954-315-1460 or EFernandez@sonesta.com

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.