Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Johnson

Jeff Johnson

Executive Director, Minneapolis Convention Center

Jeff Johnson is an Assistant City Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis and is the Executive Director of the Minneapolis Convention Center, a 1.6 million square foot facility that hosts more than 350 events and 1 million guests each year. The work of the convention center produces significant economic impact of $400 million to the region and helped support more than 8000 jobs in 2018.

The Minneapolis Convention Center provides guests and residents the gateway to exploring the City of Minneapolis. The idea of place is important to Mr. Johnson and there has been significant work done in recent years to make the convention center feel like a more integrated representation of Minneapolis and its people. Significant renovations have occurred and are underway to add amenities that add to relationship building within and around the facility, including unique ways of introducing all forms of art into the spaces of such a large public place.

In addition to the convention center, Mr. Johnson oversees the management of the Target Center arena and the convention and visitors' bureau, Meet Minneapolis, for the City of Minneapolis. Mr. Johnson joined the Minneapolis Convention Center in 2004 and has increased his responsibilities from the Guest Services Manager, to the Director of Event Services, and finally to the Executive Director.

Prior to working for the City of Minneapolis, Mr. Johnson worked at the Xcel Energy Center/Rivercentre in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Bi-Lo Center (now Bon Secours Wellness Arena) in Greenville, South Carolina, and the Wake Forest University Athletic Department in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mr. Johnson attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota graduating with a degree in Business Administration and the University of Minnesota-Mankato graduating with a Master in Sport Administration. Mr. Johnson is married with three young children and is originally from Lakeville, Minnesota.


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

Mr. Johnson can be contacted at 612-767-8000 or jeff@minneapolis.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.