Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Barragate

Susie Barragate

President & CEO, Vocational Guidance Services

Susie Barragate was appointed as the President & CEO of Vocational Guidance Services (VGS), an Ohio provider of personalized vocational training to individuals with disabilities or other barriers to employment, in September 2018. She has served with VGS for more than 22 years, joining the organization in 1996 as the Human Resources Coordinator and in 1999 becoming the agency's Human Resources Director.

In 2012, Ms. Barragate was asked to take responsibility for the vocational rehabilitation services at VGS' Elyria facility in addition to her supervision of VGS' HR and Intake Departments. In 2014, she became Vice President of Human Resources and Lorain County Rehabilitation Services.

In addition to processing payroll for four distinct corporations and over 1,000 employees, under Ms. Barragate's leadership VGS' Human Resources Department was responsible for guiding and directing agency personnel policies and practices, while the Intake Department oversaw all the open and closed case files for program participants, while also processing referrals for services to participants.

The Lorain County Rehabilitation Services included a program with the Lorain County Department of Jobs and Family Services, as well as Placement Services, Clerical Training, and Work Adjustment.

Ms. Barragate graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in personnel and industrial relations. In 2013, she was awarded the Innovation Award for Strategic Alignment by ERC and CSHRM's HR Awards, and was named as an Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year by Crain's Cleveland Business in 2014. Ms. Barragate is a graduate of the Cleveland Leadership Center's Bridge Builders Class of 2013.

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

Ms. Barragate can be contacted at +1 216-431-7800 or SusieBarragate@vgsjob.org

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.