Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Morikawa

Megan Morikawa

Global Sustainability Office Director, Iberostar Group

Dr. Megan Morikawa is the Global Sustainability Office Director at Iberostar Group where she leads the work that is being done under the company's Wave of Change movement, an initiative based on three complementary but different action lines: eliminating the consumption of single-use plastics, promoting responsible seafood consumption and the improvement of coastal health.

Dr. Morikawa joined Iberostar in early 2018 to work as an advisor for the company's work in coastal health, focusing on leading the on-ground research on coral reef restoration in the Americas. She now leads a strong sustainability team along with Gloria Fluxà, who is part of the company's fourth generation leadership and ownership, in scientific actions for Wave of Change's three pillars and to connect Iberostar Group with the greater scientific community to provide a strong foundation towards the movement's action lines.

Dr. Morikawa received her Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, from Duke University with a personalized major titled Conservation Biology and Genetics: Applied Environmental Sciences, where she was a Robertson and Udall scholar. She received her PhD at the Palumbi Lab at the Stanford Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, where she conducted research on multi-species coral nurseries to see if coral reef restoration can be made ready for climate change using genomic tools to unveil natural diversity in reefs in the Pacific. Dr. Morikawa also studied the impacts of seasonal shifts in coral transcriptomes on the response during bleaching stress. As a postdoc at University of California, Santa Barbara, she worked on testing the feasibility of multi-species and climate resilient coral nurseries in the Caribbean.

Dr. Morikawa is passionate about the science that provides a technical solution to a real-world problem. She is also passionate about communicating that research in creative ways and thinking creatively about solutions and applications.

Please visit http://www.grupoiberostar.com/en for more information.

Dr. Morikawa can be contacted at +1 855-378-9011 Ext: 170 or Megan.morikawa@iberostar.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.