Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Blakely

Ford Blakely

Founder & CEO, Zingle

Ford Blakely is the founder and CEO of Zingle Inc. As a frustrated consumer with an entrepreneurial spirit, Mr. Blakely worked to find a way to make it easier for customers to interact with companies and get their needs met in more personalized ways.

As a result, Zingle was born in 2009 as the first two-way, business-to-customer communication platform. Today, Zingle empowers businesses to engage, support, and respond to customers in more meaningful and impactful ways. The Zingle platform combines artificial intelligence and machine learning with workflow automation and mobile messaging, which allows brands to deliver exceptional customer experiences in real time. Leading brands across different verticals, including hospitality, health and fitness, legal, food and beverage, retail, and more, use Zingle to increase efficiency, improve operations, and delight their customers.

Mr. Blakely has spent more than 20 years involved in startups, finance and various entrepreneurial projects. He is a Certified Public Accounting who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance from Furman University in 1997, before attending the University of Tennessee to earn a Masters in Accountancy one year later.

Mr. Blakely started his financial career at Arthur Andersen and later moved on to investment banking at RBC Capital Market, where he specialized in telecommunication start-ups and video technology companies at all stages. He then worked at LECG for six years, where he provided financial analysis and consultation services for businesses and law firms.

Please visit http://www.zingle.me for more information.

Mr. Blakely can be contacted at +1 858-213-6562 or fblakely@zingleme.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.