Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. McCleese

Gail McCleese

Co-Leader Global Hospitality Design, Gensler

Gail McCleese is the co-leader of the global Hospitality design practice area at Gensler, the world's largest architecture, design and planning firm. She also serves as Design Director, Design Experience Leader, Client Relationship Leader and Studio Director within the firm's Houston office.

With more than 30 years of hospitality experience — 25 of those at her own, award-winning design firm — Ms. McCleese has an in-depth knowledge of the global hospitality industry and a flair for crafting inviting and memorable experiences for guests. At her core, Ms. McCleese is a positive-thinking, sensory designer driven to create spaces that speak to all human senses. She has been recognized for her award-winning interiors of high-end restaurants, four- and five-star luxury hotels and resorts, casinos, and active aging environments. Her client roster includes Hyatt, Hilton, Omni, Landry's, InterContinental Hotels, Kimpton, and Wanda Hotels & Resorts.

Ms. McCleese is an active member of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the ACE Houston Mentor Program. She has served as Executive Vice President and Membership Chairperson of the Houston chapter of Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH). Ms. McCleese has spoken at a number of local and national industry events throughout her career, most recently discussing the future for meeting and conference venue spaces at the International Association of Conference Centers' (IACC) Meeting Room of the Future Showcase in Toronto. She was also a contributor to the firm's latest research into Hospitality Design as included in the Hospitality Experience IndexSM, the culmination of a multiyear, mixed-methods research effort leveraging ethnographic research and a 1,200-person survey to find patterns in how guests interact with hotel environments.


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

Ms. McCleese can be contacted at +1 713-209-7962 or gail_mccleese@gensler.com

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.