Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Tighe

Diane Tighe

Director of Catering & Conference Services, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Diane Tighe is director of catering and conference services of the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, the original AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel in Durham, N.C., located on the campus of Duke University. An award-winning catering professional, Ms. Tighe has been with the Inn since 1999.

As Director of Catering & Conference Services, Ms. Tighe leads all the Inn's conference planning initiatives, which entails collaborating with the JB Duke Hotel and servicing the many meetings, conferences, incentive trips, corporate getaways and intimate trade shows hosted at the Inn throughout the year.

Ms. Tighe and her team's efforts contributed to the Inn winning the prestigious Successful Meetings Pinnacle Award six times-a mark of a distinguished event planning team. Her role also encompasses maximizing opportunities created by the property's premier banquet facilities and special event venues including the many weddings and wedding-related events held annually at the Inn. Her and her team serve as onsite wedding consultants par excellence. Prior to her current role, she served as the Inn's director of catering and catering sales manager.

Ms. Tighe received the distinction of Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) in 2012, the most prestigious and widely respected professional designation from the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). The CPCE is awarded after a rigorous study period and written exam that covers accounting, beverage management, catering services, contracts and agreements as well as event management, food production, human resources and sales and marketing. She also received the 2017 Peter Daymont Lifetime Achievement Award from the Triangle Chapter of NACE.

Ms. Tighe has been an active member of the NACE since 2001, serving three terms as president and in roles of program chair, treasurer and secretary. She also served as National Association of Catering and Events National secretary for chapter presidents council in 2009 and NACE National Education Committee in 2008.

Please visit www.washingtondukeinn.com for more information.

Ms. Tighe can be contacted at 919-490-0999 or dtighe@wdigc.com

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.